Health officials in North Texas view a decline in flu vaccinations as a cause for concern.
Wired PR News.com — Public Health officials in North Texas are voicing concerns over the sharp decline in people getting immunized for the flu virus, as reported by the Dallas Morning News. The flu season peaks in February but according to Dallas County Health Department, so far, fifty percent fewer people have gotten immunized this year in comparison to last year.
As noted in the report, numbers are down by 35 percent in Garland. The Garland Health Department lowered its price for the vaccine to $5. Previously the cost was $20. Tarrant and Collin Counties have also reportedly experienced declines.
Officials are said to blame the decline on a mild flu season nationwide as well as the fact that last year, many people who took the vaccine still got the flu because it did not target the right strain, and confusion over reports that the leading treatment seems to be ineffective against this year’s most common strain. Peggy Wittie, chief epidemiologist in Collin County is quoted in the Dallas Morning News report as stating, “Its a sad possibility that people may be confused about the difference between the flu vaccine and Tamiflu.” Tamiflu is a flu treatment, not a vaccine. Wittie also stated that the flu virus spreads quickly among school age children, and is quoted to caution, “We have vaccines for children age three and up and for adults. We encourage people to take advantage of that.”