HOUSTON — We were warned this flu season could be rough. Australia, because it is in the southern hemisphere, has already gone through its flu season and it was pretty bad. Health experts say it arrived earlier than normal and was the most severe it’s been in years.
Now, Texas is reporting unusually high flu activity, and it is starting early. The number of cases in the Houston area isn’t usually seen until December or January.
So, is it the flu shot’s fault? Every year scientists must make an educated guess about which strain of the flu will dominate that flu season. Then they make vaccines for that year based on that educated guess. It always provides some level of protection, but its effectiveness can depend on how well it matches the current strain. According to Healthline, so far this year’s vaccine appears to be a good match.
The problem appears to be people are not getting the vaccine. A recent survey found that nearly half of all Americans don’t plan to get the flu shot this year. This comes as people are masking less, gathering more, and traveling more. All this could combine to make for a tough flu season. Experts recommend getting your vaccine sooner than later, especially here in Texas.