Galveston County continues to offer free flu vaccinations

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor, Rose-Ann Aragon - Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - The Galveston County Health District is continuing to offer flu shots at no cost at its immunization clinic and several off-site locations.

More than 3,527 confirmed cases of the flu and pneumonia have been reported this season, according to health officials.

About 455 of those types of cases were reported last year during the same period.

Health officials said that people 6 months and older should get the vaccination. They also said the vaccine is especially important for people 65 and older, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic health conditions.

“People often forget the flu can be fatal for the very young and old, especially for those with compromised immune systems,” said Dr. Philip Keiser, with the Galveston County Local Health Authority. “Being vaccinated not only protects you, it helps protect the vulnerable populations around you.”

Every year, Galveston County Health Department's spokesperson Scott Packard said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts what will be the most common strands of the flu virus. Those strands are used in the vaccine. Some vaccines are more effective than others.

Some people still say they don't think the vaccine is worth it because they can still get the flu.

“It’s frustrating to see so much chatter out there from people who are not getting the shot because they think it’s not ‘worth it,'” Keiser said. “While it’s true some people who get the shot will still get the flu, the vaccine can reduce the severity of symptoms for people who get the virus.”

"Me and my daughter both got it (the flu) last year," said resident Sonia Kukuch. "It was horrible."

Kukuch said she and her daughter had high fevers and body aches. This year, Kukuch brought her whole family to the clinic in Galveston County to get the vaccine.

"Why not take the chances and keep your family well and go get the flu shot? I wish I had done it earlier," Kukuch said.

Packard also suggests washing your hands frequently and containing your coughs and sneezes to avoid the spread.

Flu vaccines will be available at the following locations this week:

Monday, Jan. 22

  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
  • 1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department, 1806 Broadway Ave. (Loop 108), Port Bolivar

Tuesday, Jan. 23

  • 8 a.m.-7 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
  • 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Friendswood Chamber of Commerce, 1100 S. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood

Wednesday, Jan. 24

  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
  • 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: His Touch Worship Center, 2371 E. Bay Shore Drive, San Leon

Thursday, Jan. 25

  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City

Friday, Jan. 26

  • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: GCHD Immunization Clinic, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite B-104, Texas City
  • 1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Santa Fe ISD Administration Building, 4133 Warpath Ave., Santa Fe

“The flu shot will not give you the flu, despite a lot of rumors to the contrary,” Keiser said. “The virus in the vaccine is inactive and cannot make you ill with the flu.”

GCHD has offered the flu vaccine at no cost at its immunization clinic, in addition to several off-site clinics, since late December.

For more information on the flu, symptoms and prevention, click here.

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