Dec. 11, 2015
consider the holidays a time for spreading love and cheer, not the flu. But
physicians say the increase in holiday gatherings, traveling, and shopping in
crowds could provide the perfect environment for spreading influenza. That’s
why Texas physicians, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
urge people to get their yearly flu shot before they visit their loved ones
again for everyone to make a strong effort to get the flu shot. Anyone 6 months
or older will benefit by being vaccinated against the most common strains for
the season,” says Sherif Zaafran, MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s)
Council on Health Promotion.
physicians say the annual flu shot is the best way to ensure gifts — and not
influenza — are what families exchange this winter. It is especially important
for the elderly and those who are around infants and people with compromised
immune systems to get the vaccine to protect themselves and others.
of the flu shot far outweigh any potential minor inconvenience. All of us being
vaccinated also helps protect those who can’t be vaccinated because of their
age or weak immune system,” says Dr. Zaafran, a Houston anesthesiologist.
Even for people
not visiting the very old or very young this season, Dr. Zaafran says a flu
shot still should be on their preholiday to-do list because influenza can have
dangerous consequences for anybody, including healthy people.
“For those of
us who believe that the flu is not that big of a deal, let's not forget how
many folks, even the young and healthy, become critically ill from this disease,”
Since it takes
two weeks for the vaccine to kick in fully, physicians say now is the time to
get vaccinated against influenza.
“Be wise, and
immunize,” says Dr. Zaafran.
Check out TMA's new flu fact infographic.
TMA is the largest state medical society in
the nation, representing more than 48,000 physician and medical student
members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies
around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of
TMA actively works to improve
immunization rates in Texas through its Be Wise — ImmunizeSM program. Be Wise works with local communities
to give free and low-cost shots to Texans, and educate people about the
importance of vaccination. More than 280,000 shots have been given to Texas
children, adolescents, and adults through the Be Wise program since 2004.
Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the
Texas Medical Association.
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