Health officials recommend flu shots for everyone — especially those with HIV

Parkland hospital sent a news release this morning encouraging everyone to get flu shots. Dallas County health officials are noticing a higher rate of flu-related hospitalizations than last year.

Dallas County has not reached the peak of flu season so getting a vaccination can still help prevent illness. The predominant strain of flu this year is H3N2, which is more severe than last year’s H1N1 virus.

Parkland’s Chief of Infection Prevention Dr. Pranavi Sreeramoju said the best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu is by receiving the flu vaccine. He said H3N2 causes more severe illness, more hospitalizations and more complications.

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that all people over the age of six months receive the vaccine. But groups at special risk are people over the age of 65 and people with compromised immune systems, including people with HIV.

Walgreens on the corner of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs has flu shots available.

Resource Center Dallas’ Nelson-Tebedo Clinic is offering flu shots for $20. Call ahead to make an appointment, Monday through Saturday but not Tuesday at 214-528-2336.

—  David Taffet

Flu vaccines widely available throughout DFW area

vaccine

Dallas County has received 530,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine to date. The vaccine is now available to all residents.

“Because of the improving vaccine supply and recent indications of decreasing demand for vaccine in the priority group populations in our community, DCHHS is now extending the offer of H1N1 vaccine to all Dallas County residents who desire to receive the vaccine,” said a post on the Dallas County web site.

The county recommends people in certain priority groups get the vaccine. Those groups are:

• Pregnant women

• People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age

• Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel

• Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old

• People ages of 25 through 64 years of age who have chronic health disorders

Bret Camp of the Nelson Tebedo Health Resource Center said that last group includes people with HIV.

Flu vaccine is usually recommended for people over the age of 50, but H1N1 has not particularly hit that group hard yet this year. Researchers suspect that older people may have some immunity from an earlier, related strain of the virus.

Tarrant and Collin counties also report sufficient stockpiles of the vaccine to offer to all of their county residents.

—  David Taffet