Health Team

What You Need to Know About Getting Your Flu Shot This Year

Posted September 12, 2007

— More than 100 million doses of flu vaccine will be available during this flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the problem, in the past, has been early delivery of the vaccine to places where people are used to getting their health care.

State epidemiologist Dr. Jeffrey Engel said large purchasers, such as retail stores and pharmacy chains often get the first vaccine supplies starting Oct. 1.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which offers the vaccine at no cost to members with prevention-care benefits, and the North Carolina Medical Society are encouraging people to get flu vaccines from their primary care provider or public health clinic this year, instead of retail stores or pharmacy chains.

"It is best to establish a 'medical home,' where medical care for acute and chronic medical conditions, as well as preventive care, can occur," said Dr. Darlyne Menscer, president of the N.C. Medical Society.

Health officials said about 36,000 deaths – an average of 1,000 to 2,000 in North Carolina – from complications of the flu occur annually in the nation.

Those most at risk of death from the flu are those who are 65 or older; babies 6 to 23 months of age; people with diabetes, asthma, other chronic illness, or those with a compromised immune system.

Flu season runs from about November through May and usually peaks around midwinter.


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  • Eric Blair Sep 14, 2007

    Are flu vaccines preserved with thermiosal?

  • Amused Sep 14, 2007

    No one in my family has ever gotten the flu shot and no one in my family has ever gotten the flu!

  • murdock Sep 14, 2007

    The flu shot is worth it. Just watch the old man who ends up on a ventilator or child with pneumonia in the hospital. Small price to pay rather than get really sick or even die.

  • Steve Crisp Sep 14, 2007


    You wanna troll, fine. We can just ignore you. But when you spew something that is not only wrong, but can get someone killed if they listen to you, then you have stepped over the line. So why don't you go back and play in your litter box and let the adults talk here?

  • THE ETERNAL Sep 14, 2007


  • ConcernedinRaleigh Sep 13, 2007

    Flu vaccinations are $30 this year (for self-pay.)

  • JoCo-nurse Sep 13, 2007

    They also can't hold clinics until the official "flu season" starts... The vaccine will only cover you a certain amount of time, typically 3-4 months. If given to early, then you risk being exposed later in the winter and then not being protected.

    Also, the supply is being shipped out now. The office where I work received our shipment this week. But we will not start vaccinating until October.

  • piratepeople Sep 13, 2007

    People need to realize the county cannot hold clinics until they receive their supply from the manufacturer. The county has no control over when they receive their shipments.

  • outlawtaxi Sep 13, 2007

    Blue Cross is not going to sponsor any retail store clinics this year and only a limited amount of worksite ones. I expect that the county health departments might have some clinics, though, for people who can't afford the doctor's visit, or who don't have a regular physician. If your co-pay is $25, then you are still coming out even, since most of the clinics last year charged that anyway and I know some didn't file the insurance. Another idea would be to go to the nurse practitioner clinic in some of the drug stores (I know some of the CVS & Kerr stores have them) and get it there. More convenient hours, too. I think the shot is a good idea, and I also think that people ought to stay home when they get sick, and that supervisors should send people home (with pay, of course)rather than expect them to work when they show up at work sick. That would help everybody around them to stay well.

  • anonemoose Sep 13, 2007

    My Dr's office scheduled me for a 9:15 appt. When I scheduled the appt I told them that they had sent me the card to come get my blood drawn. They told me not t eat anything after 10 PM. When I asked about drawing the blood, they told me that they only draw blood between 8-9 and that I would have to schedule anothet visit, and again had to pay the $30.00 copay. The whole system is rigged. I'm not for socialized medicine, but this reliance on a third party payer bites the big one.