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Fewer adults receiving flu shots, reports CDC

(Justin Lewis, WTVA)
(Justin Lewis, WTVA)
Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 1/15/2014 9:33 pm
NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) — A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates almost two-thirds of adults ages 18 to 64 haven't had a flu shot this season, and out of that group, the report shows most of them are young adults.

When it comes to the flu shot, the reasons not to get one are endless.

Some don't get them due to fear of needles. Others say prevention is not 100 percent guaranteed. And then there's the thought, "If I get one, I'll get sick."

But Baptist Memorial Hospital—Union County Doctor Robert Pitcock said the last reason is a myth.

"That's not the case," Pitcock said. "If you get the flu shot, you won't get the flu. You might get the flu, but it wasn't from the flu shot."

In fact, he said this is the year not to listen to those common myths, especially if you're a young adult.

"This year, the worst cases we're seeing are in the 20-to-40 age range," he said. "We're having some people that are having mortalities in that age group, and that's not normal for the flu."

A new CDC report shows that just one-third of adults ages 18 to 64 received a flu shot in the 2012-2013 season putting many adults at risk.

"Normally, people that get the flu that are 20 to 30 will just have the normal flu and won't be that sick," Pitcock explained. "But they're sicker this year than normal."

This flu season is the H1N1 — the same strain that caused a nationwide pandemic in 2009 among younger adults.

"It's affecting young people more so than normal," Pitcock said.

The report also finds that overall vaccinations have gone up this year. However, only 36 percent of adults in the 18-to-64 age group got a flu shot.

"We've actually had 173 positive flu cases here in New Albany at our hospital," Pitcock said. "That seems to be more than we've seen in the past."

Baptist Memorial Hospital—Union County has given more than 1,200 flu shots this season.
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