Local pharmacies, hospitals encouraging flu shots

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The beginning of flu season is coming fast and doctors in the east say you can start protecting yourself against the virus right now.

Many pharmacies and clinics are stocked up with flu vaccinations.

Last flu season, nearly 220 people in North Carolina died from the flu. Doctors say now is the time to come get your shot and protect yourself for this upcoming flu season.

Doctors at Vidant Medical Center say it could take up to 10 days for the flu shot to start working effectively, so they say the sooner you get your vaccine the better.

Flu season lasts for several months, kicking off around this time of year and ending around March.

There's no way to predict how bad this season will be, so doctors are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

Even though there's no guarantee you won't still get the flu, experts say the shot will protect you from the worst flu symptoms.

"But the good news is that if you get the flu shot and then get the flu, you will most likely have a less severe case than if you got no shot at all, and that will make a difference, especially in folks that are more susceptible," explains Dr. Keith Ramsey, an infectious disease specialist.

Dr. Ramsey says those people at a higher risk of getting the flu are the very young and the very old.

He says the most severe cases and deaths are usually seen in older people.

Flu shots cost about $35 and you can typically get your vaccination in minutes.

Vidant Medical Center is also offering several flu clinics over the next couple of weeks.

October 18
Drive Thru Flu Clinic
Vidant Wellness Center
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

October 24
Drive Thru Flu Clinic
Vidant Wellness Center
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

October 28
Drive Thru Flu Clinic
Vidant Wellness Center
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

October 30
Walk-in Flu Clinic
Vidant Wellness Center
Classroom A
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

November 9
Walk-in Flu Clinic
Vidant Wellness Center
Classroom B
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

October 18
The Outer Banks Hospital
OBH Conference Room CRC
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

October 19
Vidant Duplin
Conference Room North
1st Floor
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

October 26
Vidant Edgecombe
Hospital Library
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm