Local News

Lucky 2,700 Get Flu Shots By Appointment In Wake County

Posted November 8, 2004

— Last week about 14,000 people called the Wake County Health Department for a flu shot trying to get a chance at only 2,700 doses that were available.

On Monday, those who considered themselves lucky came and rolled up their sleeves.

For weeks there have been long lines with people willing to wait hours for a shot.

At the Wake County Health Department Monday, there were no long lines and no people waiting, because getting a flu shot is now by appointment only.

The Wake County Health Department went with appointments to make things more convenient for everyone.

Those who didn't have to wait like the idea.

"This is great, my daughter had it set up before she went on vacation," said Ann Davis, a grandmother. "This made it real easy for us to know when to be here."

Still, there are thousands of people who called for a shot, and didn't get an appointment.

There's still not enough of the vaccine to go around for those at risk. The Health Department expects to get in more doses, but they don't know when or how many.

When people come for a flu shot, they are asked to sign a form that says they are at risk

But, without the time to verify each case, county health leaders trust individuals to tell the truth.

Kimberly Munn came prepared to get her flu shot at the Wake County Health Department. She brought her medication and a note from her doctor.

"I'm young and didn't know if they'd take me seriously or not," Munn said.

While it's obvious some people meet the high risk criteria of being 65 or over, it's not always as easy to identify someone else at high risk, like Munn, who is diabetic.

"We've discovered in the past when someone has to sign their name to a piece of paper, it's a little more difficult to be dishonest with us," said Gibbie Harris, Wake County community health director.

When people called to make appointments for a shot, about 10 percent were turned down because they didn't meet the high-risk criteria.

Still, officials acknowledge some dishonest people will likely get through.

If a person is caught being dishonest and signs the form, they could be charged with a misdemeanor for violating the state's communicable disease law.

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