AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has secured 2.8 million doses of flu vaccine for the Texas Vaccines for Children Program and the new Adult Influenza Vaccine Initiative.
These programs will enhance flu vaccination coverage as part of the state's COVID-19 response by decreasing the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and fatalities due to influenza and help ensure that health care providers can focus resources on treating COVID-19 patients.
"The flu vaccine is an effective way to prevent the spread of influenza, and expanding access to this vaccine is especially important this year so that our health care systems can focus on treating COVID-19 patients," said Governor Abbott in a news release.
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The governor added that "the Texas Vaccines For Children Program and the Adult Influenza Vaccine Initiative will provide these effective, voluntary vaccines to Texans across the state and help us protect the health and safety of our communities. I urge every Texan to go get a flu shot to protect themselves and their loved ones from the spread of influenza."
Children who are uninsured, underinsured, or qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program are eligible to receive voluntary immunizations against the flu and other diseases from more than 3,000 Texas Vaccines for Children providers across the state.
Participating medical practices, community clinics, and health departments have ordered 1.8 million doses of free flu vaccine this flu season. Parents can search for providers in their area by using the Find a Provider link on the DSHS website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided one million flu vaccines to DSHS which will distribute them through the Adult Influenza Vaccine Initiative to adults who are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection or severe disease.
The new program will make the vaccine available for people in certain groups:
- Health care employees, first responders, and other critical front-line workers
- Staff and patients in long-term care facilities
- People with underlying health conditions
- People in racial and ethnic groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19
- Uninsured and underinsured adults
Prospective participants in the Adult Influenza Vaccine Initiative, including pharmacies, first responder organizations, and long-term care facilities can learn about enrollment on the DSHS website.
More information on the flu and vaccination locations can be found at TexasFlu.org