AUSTIN (KXAN) — With many gathering for the holidays armed with their COVID-19 booster shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to also get their flu shots.
The CDC this week issued an advisory as the H3N2 strain begins to spread, the same strain lineage that led to tens of thousands of deaths during the 2017-2018 flu season.
The health agency said cases are climbing among children and young adults. Infectious disease expert Dr. Christelle Liboudo said the surge could be linked to less mask-wearing and social distancing.
“I think part of it is mitigation is just falling by the wayside because, understandably so, people are tired of the pandemic,” she said. “So, we are taking more risks.”
Flu cases across the U.S. and Texas remain in the low category for now.
No outbreaks or flu-related deaths have been reported in Travis County as of November 13, according to the Austin Public Health website.
Those without health insurance can receive flu shots at area Shots for Tots and Big Tots clinics. The cost is $10 per child or $25 for adults, though the organization does not refuse service to those who cannot pay.
People with health insurance can find a location on the CDC’s vaccine page.