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    Influenza Vaccine vial with syringe

    What types of flu vaccine does the county have?
    The quadrivalent, which covers four different strains of flu. We also carry some private pay high-dose seasonal flu vaccines this year for people age 65 and up.

    What ages do you provide the flu shot for?
    We provide the flu vaccine from six months on up in age.

    What if I don’t have enough money to pay for a flu shot?
    This year, Tarrant County Public Health is working with select county pharmacies to offer the flu shot for free to the uninsured. There are two programs you may qualify for: Vaccine for Children (VFC) program or the Adult Safety Net (ASN) program. The VFC program is for those under the age of 19 years. Under both programs, the vaccine is free; but, there is an administration fee between $8 - $15. However, Tarrant County Public Health does not turn away any person due to their inability to pay.

    When will you being providing flu shots?
    We begin providing flu shots in October. Please call 817-248-6066 to set up an appointment or if you have any questions.
     
    Will you have flu for Adult Safety Net this year?
    For the first time, starting November, we will have flu shots for those who qualify for the ASN program, which includesbut is not limited to:

    • Uninsured
    • Underinsured; and high-risk populations such as:
      • Staff and patients in long-term care facilities
      • Adults with underlying conditions
      • African-Americans
      • Adults who are part of the critical infrastructure, including:
        • Health care professionals,
        • First Responders,
        • Grocery store workers, manufacturing and food plant workers.

    Tarrant County Public Health does not turn away any person because of the inability to pay.

    Is it recommended to get the flu shot early?

    Tarrant County follows the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for providing the flu vaccine starting the first of October and through the entire season while the vaccine is available. It also takes your body about two weeks following the shot to develop enough antibodies to ward off influenza infection, so the sooner you get the shot, the quicker your body can develop that resistance.

    Do you have the high dose for 65 years and older?
    Yes, we have some for private pay patients.

    Will the flu shot give me the flu?
    No. However, it is still possible to get the flu after having a flu shot, either because you were infected with the flu just before you got the shot, are one of the few people who is not fully protected or because the strain of influenza that made you sick was not included in the vaccine. Even so, you are less likely to have serious complications from the flu if you have had the shot.

    What are the symptoms of the flu?
    Fever or feeling feverish, achy muscles, especially in your back, arms, and legs, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, chills and sweats, weakness and fatigue, headaches, vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children).

    Is the flu shot a live vaccine?
    No, Tarrant County Public Health does not provide the live flu vaccination.

    Who should not get the flu shot?
    Children younger than six months should not get the flu shot. People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine should also not get the flu shot. However, there are special flu vaccinations that are specifically made for those who have severe egg allergies. At several pharmacies there is an “egg free” vaccine available. One of the brands is “FluBlok”. Please check with a local pharmacy if you need that because of egg allergies. Your health care provider can help direct you.
     
    How many doses of the flu shot will I need?
    Only one flu shot is needed per year, unless otherwise directed by your primary care physician or other medical health practitioners. Some children six months to eight years old require two doses of flu vaccine. Children in this age group getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously received one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season. Your child’s health care provider can tell you if your child needs two doses.

    Is there anyone in the community offering free shots for the uninsured?
    For the 2021-2022 flu season, Tarrant County Public Health is working with select county pharmacies to offer the flu shot for free to the uninsured.

    Why should I get a flu shot?
    Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also help conserve scarce health care resources.

    How much does the flu shot cost?
    The flu shot normally costs $25 per person. It may be different if you qualify for the Adult Safety Net program. It also may be different if you have private health insurance, Medicaid, and/or Medicare Part B. Please call 817-248-6066, for any questions regarding if you qualify or general questions about cost. Select county pharmacies are offering the flu shot for free to those who are uninsured.

    What are some common side effects of the flu shot?
    Soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the site of the shot, headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches, and occasionally, it can cause fainting.

    Am I having a severe allergic reaction?
    Severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat or dizziness. These signs usually happen within minutes to a few hours after receiving the flu shot.

    What can I do if I think I am having a severe reaction?
    If you are having trouble breathing, chest pain, or your throat, tongue or face is starting to swell, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor. Please ensure that either the hospital, your doctor, or yourself reports this to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System or call 1-800-338-2382.

    What can I do if I am severely allergic to eggs?
    A vaccine is available named Flublok Quadrivalent. This flu shot is not egg-based. However, Tarrant County Public Health does not provide this type of flu shot at this time.

    How does flu spread?
    Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly by droplets made when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. A person can also get flu by touching something that has flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes or nose.

    Is flu vaccine safe?
    Flu vaccines are made using strict safety and production measures. Millions of people have safely received flu vaccines for decades. Flu shots and nasal spray flu vaccines are both options for vaccination. Different types of flu vaccines are licensed for different ages.

    What are the benefits of getting a flu vaccine?

    • A flu vaccine can keep you and your child from getting sick. When vaccine viruses and circulating viruses are matched, flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of getting sick with flu by about half.
    • Flu vaccines can keep your child from being hospitalized from flu. One recent study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit admission by 74%.
    • Flu vaccine can prevent your child from dying from flu. A study using data from recent flu seasons found that flu vaccine reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half among children with high risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds among children without medical conditions.
    • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder, if you do get sick.
    • Getting yourself and your child vaccinated also can protect others who may be more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people and people with certain long-term health problems.

    What are some other ways I can protect my child against flu?
    In addition to getting a flu vaccine, you and your child should take everyday actions to help prevent the spread of germs. Stay away as much as possible from people who are sick. If you or your child are sick, avoid others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Also, remember to regularly cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, avoid
    touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and clean surfaces that may be contaminated with flu viruses. These everyday actions can help reduce your chances of getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others if you are sick.

    Is there a medicine to treat flu?
    Yes. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that can be used to treat flu illness. They can shorten your illness and make it milder, and they can prevent serious complications that could result in a hospital stay. Antivirals work best when started during the first 2 days of illness. Antiviral drugs are recommended to treat flu in people who are very sick (for example, people who are in the hospital) or people who are at high risk of serious flu complications who get flu symptoms. Antivirals can be given to children and pregnant women. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider for more
    information or if you think you may need these prescription medications.

    How long can a sick person spread flu to others?

    People with flu may be able to infect others from one day before getting sick to up to five to seven days after. Severely ill people or young children may be able to spread the flu longer, especially if they still have symptoms.

    Can my child go to school, day care, or camp if he or she is sick with the flu?
    No. Your child should stay home to rest and to avoid spreading flu to other children or caregivers.

    When can I go back to school or work after having flu?
    If you or your child had a positive flu test and a negative COVID-19 test, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. (The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C)* or higher. If you still do not feel better after the fever is gone, continuing staying home and getting rest.

    This page was last modified on November 17, 2021

    TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS



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