As flu spreads across the Borderland, health officials urge El Pasoans to get vaccinated


FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The flu forecast is cloudy and it’s too soon to know if the U.S. is in for a third miserable season in a row, but health officials said Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 not to delay vaccination. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Each year, National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is observed the week of December 1. The Department of Public Health in El Paso is hoping to curb the increase in flu cases in the Borderland by spreading awareness about the advantages of vaccination.

“The NIVW serves as an opportunity to remind our community that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine,” said Public Health Supervisor Alejandra Rodarte. “Getting vaccinated can keep you healthy and also helps to protect others around you.”

So far, there have been 414 confirmed cases of flu reported this season in El Paso. By comparison, there were only 194 cases of flu reported at this time last season. As of November 15, Texas has reported 12,241 cases of flu so far this season — which is 1,000 cases more than last year.

The flu is highly contagious and can result in serious complications such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, and even death in extreme cases. High-risk groups include seniors who are 65 and older, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions.

As a way to raise awareness and to highlight the importance of the flu vaccination, the Department of Public Health-Immunizations Program, in collaboration with the Medicaid Waiver program, will offer the Influenza vaccine at no cost to children (6 months-18yr) who qualify under the TVFC guidelines and to uninsured adults 19 years and older who qualify under the Medicaid Waiver guidelines.

The flu vaccine will be available on Wednesday, December 4, at the following locations:

  • Ysleta Health Center, 110 Candelaria Rd. 79907
  • Henderson Health Center, 721 S. Mesa 79901

For additional information or to make an appointment, call 915-212-6555

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