North Alabama health officials urge you to protect the vulnerable by getting flu shot

Health officials urge people to get vaccinated to protect themselves, children, and the elderly from this flu season.

Posted: Dec 3, 2019 5:16 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2019 6:19 PM

Over the past few years, nearly 80 percent of flu-related deaths were children according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. 

This flu season, families are faced with the decision, to vaccinate or not? 

For mother, Nicki Thompson, her 14-year-old will be getting the flu shot. However, she believes it is up to the parents. 

"If they make the decision not to vaccinate their family then they need to remain extremely diligent when they're around other people, who may be more prone to picking up illness this time of year," Thompson said. 

That group is children and elderly. So far, the CDC reports five kids across the U.S. have died from the flu this season. Last season, the total was 143 pediatric deaths, nationwide. 

"Those are our vulnerable population because the immunity is decreased," Nurse Shelbrina Lomax with the Madison County Health Department said.

Lomax has been a nurse for more than 20 years. She said she has never been a skepetic of the flu shot, but often hears stories. 

She argues, the shot does not give you the flu, but it also won't fully protect you. However, she said it can lessen severity of symptom, which can ultimately save lives. 

"The best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine," Lomax said. 

If you still need your vaccination, you can go to the Madison County Health Department. Vaccinations are free. They are open Monday through Friday. 

So far, no pediatric deaths have been reported in Alabama. The CDC recommends that children as young as 6-months-old, can be vaccinated.

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