Plenty of flu vaccines to go around - but not a lot of takers

Plenty of flu vaccines to go around - but not a lot of takers
By: Tiffany Sisson
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - Flu season has only just begun, but that does not mean it's too late to get your flu shot. Experts agree, it's your best line of defense. So, why are so many people taking a risk of being unprotected?
Heartland News spoke with some people who got right to the point about why they are not getting stuck with the flu vaccine.

"I have a bad reaction, so no can do," said Beth Ricky of Cape Girardeau. Marti Sturm, Cape Girardeau, said, "I forgot. It slipped my mind."

Everybody's got a reason. Fact is, many of these vials are staying full of flu vaccine. "I'm generally healthy, and I never do. I just, I've never had a flu shot and I've never gotten really sick. I guess I just keep rolling with the chances," said David Sharpe of Cape Girardeau.
Those are dangerous odds considering every year more than 36 thousand people die from the flu, and more than 200,000 are hospitalized. "Last time I took one, I just got sick," said Toni Stribling of Cape Girardeau.
"The flu shot is made with a killed virus. It cannot give people the flu," explained Charlotte Craig, the director at Cape Girardeau County's Health Department.
"Right now is the recommended time for people to start getting the flu vaccine," said Craig.
But at a clinic Tuesday afternoon in Jackson at the American Legion, there were more empty chairs than empty vials. Typically 400 people roll up their sleeves, but, barely half took the warning about getting protected. "The older you get, I think, the more important it is," said David Seabaugh. Seabaugh got the flu shot.
"We've given a pot load. I don't want to mislead you. We've probably given around 1500 doses in the last 10 days. Our last big clinic at Osage probably 700 people presented, but it's really trickled off," explained Craig.
Health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, don't make predictions about the outlook for the flu season, but right now there are about 300 cases nationwide. "Typically, we see cases peak in December. A couple of years ago, February was a really big month for flu," said Craig.