Flu season is upon us, and COVID-19 has never left.
According to Luis Ostrosky, MD, an infectious disease expert with UT Physicians and chief of infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, there are worrisome trends in other parts of the world that point to a relatively active flu season compared to recent years.
“December and January are when we normally see an increase in flu cases, but we’re already seeing them ramp up in the southern and southeastern part of the United States,” said Ostrosky. “The flu, combined with COVID-19, which continues to circulate, could lead to a potential ‘twin-demic.’”
Ostrosky added that mitigation efforts against COVID-19, like masking, helped against the spread of the flu over the last two years. But unfortunately, the public has moved on, which could result in a more significant number of flu and COVID-19 cases this winter.
“Overall, we are seeing waning vaccination rates for the flu and low booster rates for COVID-19,” said Ostrosky. “I urge people to get their flu shots and to remain vigilant about staying current with their COVID-19 boosters, including the bivalent shot, which protects against the different strains of the Omicron variant.”
If you haven’t received your flu shot, there is still time. UT Physicians is offering $19 flu shots at its clinics around town.
“It’s highly recommended that you get a flu vaccine. Even if you get the flu, you are likely to have a much milder case if you are vaccinated,” said Thomas Murphy, MD, chief medical director for UT Physicians community-based clinics. “UT Physicians is providing a low-cost, convenient option to protect yourself and your family for the entire season,” he said.
Murphy added that flu vaccinations could greatly decrease doctor visits and prevent hospitalizations, which will be important, especially since experts are not sure what to expect in terms of COVID-19 this fall and winter.
You can still take advantage of the UT Physicians’ offer of $19 flu shots at participating clinics.
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – The Heights
925 N. Shepherd
Houston, TX 77008
*UT Physicians Family Practice – Bayshore
11452 Space Center Blvd.
Houston, TX 77059
*UT Physicians – Bellaire Station
6500 W. Loop S, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77401
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – Cinco Ranch
23923 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
Katy, TX 77494
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – Sienna
8810 Highway 6, Suite 100
Missouri City, TX 77459
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – Greens
550 Greens Parkway, Suite 150
Houston, TX 77067
UT Physicians Pediatric Center – Cinco Ranch
10450 Spring Green Blvd., Suite B
Katy, TX 77494
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – International District
10623 Bellaire Blvd., Suite C280
Houston, TX 77072
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – Rosenberg
5115 Avenue H., Suite 701
Rosenberg, TX 77471
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – Jensen
2620 E. Crosstimbers St., Suite 100
Houston, TX 77093
*UT Physicians Multispecialty – Victory
7364 Antoine Dr.
Houston, TX 77088
*Extended evening and weekend hours available