Nearly two dozen children dead from flu

A state health official says the flu season hasn TMt even peaked yet in Texas.

That's not good news for parents who've opted against getting their children vaccinated.

Parents who talked to Action 4 News worry the vaccine will make their kids sick.

Others say the cost is too high or they just don't have the time to find a place to get one.

Dr. Brian Smith with the Texas Department of State Health Services says parents should not let their fears of a flu vaccine keep them from protecting themselves or their kids.

"People don't get sick from the flu vaccine," the regional medical director said. "They might get a little bit of ache in their arm and that's going to be it for the flu vaccine."

There have been nearly two dozen reported deaths of people under the age of 18 since the flu outbreak began.

While no vaccine is 100 percent, Dr. Smith says the symptoms can often be less severe in children 6 months or older who do become sick and certainly far less costly for parents who don't spend the $25 for a flu shot to invest in their health.

"People can be out a week to two weeks with influenza and be very, very sick and miss many days of work and all that expense and many days of school and get behind," he explained.

The average person with health insurance can expect to pay over $130 fighting the disease.

Without insurance, the cost is even higher, according to online statistics.

It's about a $100 just to see a doctor and another $100 for medication like Tami flu.

Those without sick time also incur lost wages to care for a child which can easily top more than $1,000 over a 10 day period.

And what about parents who say they just don't have the time to drive around town looking for the vaccine?

Well, there's a web site for that.

It's called

Simply type in your zip code in the flu vaccine finder box and a map will pop up with a list of locations, addresses and phone numbers.

Once you click on a location, a box pops up with the availability and cost.

And while the flu may be unpredictable, health experts agree prevention is key.

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