DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – October marks the beginning of flu season, and the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people receive the vaccine before month’s end.
Cases are already starting to pop up around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“We’ve actually been seeing the flu for four weeks now,” said Dr. Donna Casey with Texas Health Dallas. “We’ve put two people in the hospital, one in the ICU.” That’s why Dr. Casey is urging her patients to get vaccinated now.
Last flu season was the longest in a decade, and while the vaccine is never perfect, Casey said it’s at least some protection.
“Even if it’s only 50%, that gives you a 50% less chance of getting sick, missing work, getting your family sick,” Casey told CBS 11 News.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months of age and older, including pregnant women.
There are options, too. For little ones fearful of shots, the nasal mist is available. In 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics said patients can use either the mist or the shot.
Casey said due to prior concerns about the mist’s effectiveness, the shot the safest bet. As for concerns it will make people sick, she said that just isn’t the case.
“You are going to build antibodies to your flu vaccine,” said Casey. “You may have a low grade temperature of 98 or 99 for one day or two, but most people don’t even notice it.”
The vaccine contains egg antigen, thus Casey said it’s best to get tested if someone is concerned they’re allergic to eggs.