Health Officials Work to Calm Flu Shot Fears, Get People Vaccinated

ARKANSAS -- The number of flu deaths across the state has spiked to 31 people as of Thursday. The shot is free for most, but some folks are not getting vaccinated. And health officials fear more will die because they aren't getting the shot.
Before Mary Hunt heads to Paris to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary, she believes getting a flu shot is as important as a passport. "I've been fearful of taking a flu shot, but since the news is out so many people are dying," she said.
Dying at alarming rates. Not just here in Arkansas, but across the nation. Jefferson County health leaders said they have more than enough vaccines to keep neighbors healthy. "Everyone you talk to has someone that's either sick or has been ill with the flu," said Dena Poteat, a regional director for the Arkansas Department of Health. According to Poteat, we're in the middle of flu season, so it's not too late to get a shot. "If you ever really get the flu and you've not had the flu shot and you had the case, you're going to wish you'd gotten the flu shot. "
Poteat said people between the ages of 25 and 50 seem to be the most vulnerable this time. "That group is usually your working population or they have kids and kids are getting the germs and bringing them home from school and they're getting it at work."
Mary Hunt says the prick is priceless. "I thought it was going to hurt and it didn't and it was over so quickly."

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