You Should Have Gotten a Flu Shot Already

Pumpkin patches, football, and flu shots – cooler temperatures may come or go, but these are sure signs of fall in North Texas.

And sure as it’s autumn, medical authorities are issuing a familiar seasonal warning: Stop putting off that vaccination.

“It takes about two weeks for the body to develop the antibodies needed to provide protection against the flu virus,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, medical director for Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Dr. Pranavi Sreeramoju, chief of infection prevention at Parkland Health and Hospital System and associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, noted that while flu season generally lasts from October through March, it can vary from year to year.

“Since it’s so unpredictable, we want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.

For the 2017-2018 season, DCHHS reported 83 flu-related deaths in Dallas, including four juveniles, up from 17 total deaths the prior season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the annual vaccination “the first and most important step in flu protection” – a step it recommends for nearly everyone but children younger than 6 months.

Sreeramoju urged residents not to be scared off by misinformation and myths.

“Some people believe getting the flu shot will make them sick, but that’s not the case,” she said. “After receiving the vaccine some patients may experience symptoms like a low-grade fever, but the symptoms usually go away within a day or two.”

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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