Flu Shot season is here - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flu Shot season is here


La Porte City (KWWL) -- The flu kills 36,000 people a year and lands nearly 200,000 in the hospital. If those numbers alone don't convince you to get a flu shot.

For nearly fifteen years, Alice Barber has worked with the elderly in their homes. So the 72-year-old La Porte City woman is strongly encouraged to get a flu shot.

"You go into these people's homes and you get the flu. They can come down with it and they're a lot older than I am," said Barber. "That can be devestating if you don't take the flu shot."

Doctors say the elderly population and those who live and work them should get a flu shot along with people who are over fifty or who have chronic conditions like diabetes. Also on the list, pregnant woman and children from six months to 18-years-old.

"This is new. Before it was six months to four years. Now they're recommending it for everyone six months to 18 years. That's new for '08-'09," said Dr. Troy Renaud of La Porte City's Covenant Clinic.

Renaud says there will be an abundance of flu vaccine this year and experts work to create one that covers 70 to 90 percent of the prevailing inlfuenza strains.

"We typically start giving the flu shots in late October. It takes about two weeks after the shot for your body to build up immunity," said Dr. Renaud.

Alice protects herself but encourages the seniors she visits to do the same--complications from the flu, like pneumonia, can be deadly.

"I tried to talk 'em into getting the flu shot but some of them are pretty set in their ways so they wouldn't do it," said Barber.

By the way, she says the shot doesn't hurt.

Here are a few of the flu shot clinics taking place in the coming days:

The Johnson County Visiting Nurse Association will be giving flu shots at the North Liberty Rec Center from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Friday. In Cedar Rapids -- St. Luke's Hospital will host a clinic at the Westdale mall next Tuesday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. And the Black Hawk County Health Department will hold a clinic October 21st from 11:00 am til 2:00 pm at Hawkeye Community College.

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