Dallas County Health and Human Services will begin offering the seasonal flu vaccine to adults and children Thursday.
The information below is from a news release sent by the DCHHS.
"We are asking Dallas County residents to start getting vaccinated for the flu now," Thompson said. "The time to get the vaccine is now."
Flu vaccines for children cost $5. The adult vaccine is $20. If the patient is covered by Medicare, the vaccine is free.
The flu vaccine is recommended for almost everyone except children younger than 6 months and people who have severe allergies to eggs per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as the best means of flu prevention.
This year's flu vaccine is an all-in-one inoculation that offers protection against multiple flu strains including the H1N1 virus. Some children under the age of 9 years old may need two doses of the vaccine.
The high-dose flu vaccine for seniors 65 years and older will also be available for $40. This vaccine is also covered under Medicare.
The flu vaccine will only be offered in the child and adult immunization clinics in the DCHHS building.
The children's immunization clinic, located on the first floor, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday. On Wednesdays, the clinic is open until 6 p.m. The adult immunization clinic, also located on the first floor, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday.
Appointments aren't necessary.
Patients should call 214-819-2162 or 214-819-2163 for more information.
Officials don't anticipate this season to be much different from last flu season, but that doesn't change the importance of getting vaccinated.
"Since the vaccine is the same as last season's, people may wonder if they need one this year," said DCHHS Medical Director Dr. Steve Wilson. "The answer is yes. Antibody levels decrease over time, as does the vaccine's efficacy."
Offering the flu vaccine to the public comes a little early this year in Dallas County, but DCHHS is following the recommendation from the CDC to begin offering it as soon as it is available in the community.
Flu activity has yet to be reported in Dallas County. Because it takes the body about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide protection against the flu virus infection, Dallas County residents are urged to come get their flu vaccine now.
"We have enough vaccine and we have it early," Thompson said. "Right now, there's no excuse."