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    Vision: A Healthy Texas

    Mission: To improve health and well-being in Texas
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    Texas 211

DSHS Encourages H1N1 Shots as Virus Continues to Circulate

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News Release
March 31, 2010

With recent upticks in flu activity in the southeastern United States, the Texas Department of State Health Services is continuing to encourage people to get the H1N1 flu vaccination now to protect themselves.

“The virus is still circulating. It's still hospitalizing people. We're seeing some increases in H1N1 activity in other parts of the country, and our illness patterns in Texas have generally followed what happens in the southeast,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. “There is plenty of vaccine to go around. People who have not been vaccinated should do so now.”

Vaccine is available for anyone six months or older. Texas health officials are encouraging providers to place a special emphasis on vaccinating pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and other health conditions. Some older adults have had complications when infected and also should be vaccinated. Children younger than 10 need two doses of the H1N1 vaccine.

In March, more than 50 hospitalizations and at least three deaths related to H1N1 were reported in Texas. Overall, flu activity in Texas is classified as sporadic.

“H1N1 is unpredictable, and we don't know yet if it will follow any seasonal pattern,” Lakey said. “Activity might increase in the near future. It might not. People should be vaccinated because it's better to prevent an illness than to have it.”

People who want to be vaccinated should check with their usual health care provider or use the flu vaccine locator service available on TexasFlu.org.

Through a comprehensive public awareness campaign, DSHS has been encouraging people to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus since the state received its first dose of the vaccine in October. Lakey also urged people to follow standard illness-prevention steps:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Cover coughs and sneezes;
  • Stay home if sick

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allocated about 11 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine to Texas.

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(News Media Contact: Carrie Williams, DSHS Acting Press Officer, 512-458-7119.)

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Last updated December 27, 2013