Got Your Flu Shot Yet? It’s Not Too Late…

Experts say season’s peak won’t occur until late February, so there’s still time to build immunity 

January 14, 2013


 Who's most at risk?

Data indicates current flu activity is greatest at the elementary school level, so children aged nine or ten and under would benefit the most from a vaccination. However, persons at greatest for flu complications are children younger than 5  and those with medical conditions such as asthma and any condition that
weakens the immune system. 




Visit the CDC website for details. 



If you or your children still haven’t gotten immunized against the flu this year, it’s not too late to reap the benefit of a vaccination.

With 20 deaths among children already attributed to the virus as of Jan. 10, a number of news sources (Slate and The Associated Press) are sounding the alarm about a potentially more-deadly flu season than usual, but HISD Manager of Health and Medical Services Gwendolyn Johnson says there’s still time to build up some immunity.

“It takes about two weeks for vaccinations to become fully effective,” she said, “and, while it can vary, flu season typically peaks in January or February.”

Johnson noted that although she began noticing early flu activity at the beginning of December, so far HISD schools have not been reporting alarming numbers of sick children, and she sees thinks parents should be on guard but not unduly worried.

“Sheer numbers should encourage parents to do whatever they normally do even more vigilantly to prevent transmission of the illness,” she said. “Whether it’s hand-washing or not sharing eating utensils or cosmetics (such as chap stick or lip gloss), that’s what I hang my hat on. We’ve also seen some instances where people get better and then get bad again, so if you have a child who’s sick, just watch them carefully, and take upper respiratory symptoms seriously. Most importantly, keep children home when they’re sick until they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. This goes for adults, too!”

For more information, including a link to vaccine clinic locations around the city, please visit the Health and Medical Services website.