November 29, 2010
An average of 36,000 Americans die each year from influenza and many of them are the unvaccinated elderly.
HOUSTON – Free flu shots are available for Veterans, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston and its outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Lufkin, and Richmond.
Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, 3420 Veterans Circle, Beaumont, TX 77707
Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic, 800 Riverwood Ct, Ste 100, Conroe, TX 77304
Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic, 3828 Avenue N, Galveston, TX 77550
Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic, Lufkin - Please call 936-671-4300 for scheduled flu shot clinics.
Richmond VA Outpatient Clinic, 22001 Southwest Freeway, Suite 200, Richmond, TX 77469
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Clinic #2, 2002 Holcombe Blvd. Houston, TX 77030
"There is a very short wait time," said Nicholas Masozera, M.D., Primary Care Director. "At the outpatient clinics, just come in, stop at the front desk, and a health care provider will give you a flu shot. In Houston, go to Clinic #2 on the 1st Floor."
An average of 36,000 Americans die each year from influenza and many of them are the unvaccinated elderly. No vaccine is 100 percent effective, but the flu vaccine very clearly decreases the chance of severe illness, death, hospitalizations, and lost work days.
Flu shots do not cause flu illness. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the vaccine during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe. In randomized, blinded studies, where some people get flu shots and others get salt-water shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the flu shot. There were no differences in terms of body aches, fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.
For more information about influenza and the flu vaccine, contact the Preventive Medicine Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at (713) 794-8768 or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at www.cdc.gov/flu.