Vaccinations available as flu season starts

CHEROKEE COUNTY – Flu season is here again already, and vaccinations are already available to Texas residents.

According to medical professionals, influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, that causes mild to severe illness – resulting in hospitalization or death in some cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths across the country annually since 2010.

“Vaccination is especially important for people with certain underlying medical conditions, pregnant women, the very young, and the elderly,” Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of the CDC’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, stated in a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to physicians, published this year on the CDC’s website, “Only injectable influenza vaccines are recommended this season. Vaccine manufacturers have projected that as many as 157 to 168 million doses of injectable flu vaccine will be available for the 2016-2017 season. As of early September, manufacturers reported having distributed more than 100 million doses of 2016-2017 flu vaccine.”

This season’s flu vaccine is recommended for all people age 6 months or older and is available in shot form for all ages.

According to officials with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (TDHHS), people should get their vaccinations soon after the vaccine becomes available – at least by the end of October,…