Flu shots available as flu season begins

by Cristin Parker cristin@thecherokeean.com

The sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever flu season is upon the area once again.

And some East Texas areas are already confirming cases of influenza.

“Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months,” officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated on the CDC’s website. “Flu activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, and it can last as late as May.”

For the 2019-2020 flu season, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4) with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.

“Because the timing of the onset, peak and end of flu seasons varies from year to year and cannot be predicted, it is difficult to say when is the best time to be vaccinated for any one season,” the CDC’s website states. “In trying to balance the need to get many people vaccinated before flu activity begins with concerns about potential waning of vaccine-induced immunity during the flu season, the CDC and ACIP recommend that vaccination be offered by the end of October.”

Flu shots are available at these local establishments:

- Walmart Supercenter #180, 1311 S Jackson St., Jacksonville. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday.

- Special Health Resources for Texas - True North Health Center, 1013 College Ave., Jacksonville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Thursday.

- CVS Pharmacy, 824 S. Jackson St., Jacksonville

- Cherokee County Public Health Department, 803 College Ave., Jacksonville. Hours are 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m., Monday-Thursday.

- Jacksonville Family Circle of Care, 510 E. Commerce St., Jacksonville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

“While vaccination should optimally occur before the onset of flu activity in the community, providers should continue to offer and encourage vaccination as long as flu viruses are circulating and unexpired vaccine is available,” the CDC’s website states. “To avoid missed opportunities for vaccination, flu shots can be offered during routine health care visits and hospitalizations.”