Dr. Langan, MD, a board-certified physician and chief medical officer of SignatureCare Emergency Center said getting vaccinated early will ensure your system has time to build immunity to the flu virus.
“It takes about two weeks for your system to build up flu antibodies after getting vaccinated so the earlier you get the shot, the better it is for you and your family,” he said.
He urged Texans at risk of flu-related complications to consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible.
“These will include young children, people over 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions like heart and lung disease, diabetes and asthma. Getting immunized against the flu can make the symptoms less severe should you become infected. It could also help reduce hospitalizations and deaths from the flu virus,” he added.
Dr. Langan said those eligible to receive the updated COVID-19 vaccine should consider doing so as well.
“Seasonal influenza presents a real public health threat to Texans, and immunization remains our best defense against serious flu illness,” said DSHS Commissioner Jennifer Shuford, MD.
“Other actions can also help protect you and people close to you, like covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands often, and staying home from work or school when you are sick,” she added.
CDC 2023 Flu Chart
“Getting immunized against the flu can make the symptoms less severe should you become infected. It could also help reduce hospitalizations and deaths from the flu virus.”
Flu is spread through tiny droplets made when people with the virus sneeze, talk, and cough, or when a healthy person touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches their nose, eyes, or mouth.
Major symptoms of the flu include body aches, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, tiredness (fatigue), and chills. Symptoms can last for a week or longer and can be mild or severe.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 36,000 Americans die each year from the flu virus.