October 26, 2020

With the flu and the new coronavirus circulating this season, the Texas Department of State Health Services and Texas Health and Human Services Commission encourage everyone who can to get vaccinated.

Flu season often begins in October and can continue as late as May, and experts say it’s best to get the flu shot during early fall (by the end of October). DSHS recommends that everyone 6 months or older get vaccinated, especially caregivers, older adults and young children, pregnant women or those who have chronic health conditions.

Visit your primary care provider, attend a flu shot clinic at your work site (if available) or use the Flu Vaccine Finder webpage to find out where to get a flu shot. In most cases, the state’s health insurance covers 100 percent of the cost. Be sure to take your insurance and prescription cards.

Flu symptoms can last one week or longer and can include fever, body aches, chills, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and extreme fatigue. Getting a flu shot reduces the chance of getting the flu and could lessen the symptoms if you do become ill.

It takes about two weeks after receiving the flu shot for immunity to build up. It’s important to get your shot as soon as possible, and remember to take these preventative actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Keep surfaces disinfected.
  • Stay home from work and avoid social activities if you’re sick.
  • Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. These drugs are different from antibiotics and can only be received by prescription. They are known to lessen the severity of the flu. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs webpage for more information.

To learn more about the flu, visit the DSHS Texas Flu webpage. Visit the 211Texas.org webpage or call 2-1-1 to find information on vaccine availability from local public health departments and other nonprofit organizations.