Oct. 1 is annual Influenza Awareness Day in Texas. The day, designated by the Texas Legislature in 2013, raises public awareness of the health risks associated with influenza and encourages Texans to reduce these risks. One of the safest, most effective ways to reduce transmission of flu is to receive annual flu vaccination, universally recommended for anyone aged 6 months and older.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also recommends receiving the immunization as soon as the vaccine is available. This year's trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines will contain the same virus strains as last year's vaccines. They are available in different formulations, including the standard-dose shot, intradermal shot, high-dose shot, and nasal spray.
Influenza Awareness Day is also an opportunity to discuss the risks associated with flu. Influenza-related complications require hospitalizations and can be deadly. Flu virus can cause severe disease, which can also be associated with advanced age or pregnancy or from complications of underlying cardiopulmonary or other chronic diseases.
Discussing the benefits of flu vaccine provides an opportunity to determine whether your patients are up-to-date on all of the recommended vaccines for adults. For uninsured patients, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) provides free vaccines for adults through the Adult Safety Net Program. Vaccines offered through the program include hepatitis A; hepatitis B; human papillomavirus (HPV); measles/mumps/rubella (MMR); pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23); and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap).
The DSHS website allows you to search your city or county to identify where patients or their family members can get vaccinated. The website also includes instructions on how to become a provider through the Adult Safety Net Program.
Action, Oct. 1, 2014
Last Updated On
April 26, 2018