Do You Have Flu-Shot Fatigue?

Health experts see reluctance to get flu vaccines

By Ashanti Blaize
|  Wednesday, Sep 22, 2010  |  Updated 11:34 PM CDT
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Flu season is almost here, but experts say people are reluctant to get vaccinated.

Ashanti Blaize, NBCDFW.com

Flu season is almost here, but experts say people are reluctant to get vaccinated.

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The start of flu season is just weeks away, but health experts say they already see "flu-shot fatigue."

Flu season typically runs from October to May, with a peak in January or February. But not everyone is rushing to a local clinic to get in line for one.

"I do not do flu shots," Arvivian Roberts said.  "I do vitamin C and just the precautions."

Those opting to pass on the shot have their reasons. Roberts, for instance, can't get the first time she took a flu shot out of her mind.

"I stayed sick for about eight weeks," she said. "When I went back to the nurse and said, 'I am sick,' their reasoning was that the virus must have already been in my system."

But her sister, Vera Deloney, works in the health care field and doesn't have a choice.

"I take them myself because it's required that we do take them in order to work in the clinic," she said.

Health experts blame this year's resistance to vaccination on last year's swine flu fears, a shortage of flu vaccine and a relatively mild outbreak of the illness.

"We certainly didn't see as many cases of the flu last year as we expected," said Dr. Robert Collier, of Baylor Medical Center.

Deloney says she also sees flu-shot fatigue.

"The majority of younger people that are up and around, they really don't take the time to get flu shots," she said.

But Deloney also said she doubts she would get vaccinated if she didn't work in the health care industry.

Collier said the flu shot is very important.

"It's still going to be out there, and if you get it, you'll wish you had a flu shot," he said.

Dallas County is already offering flu shots, and Tarrant County will start administering them next week. Many doctors offices and pharmacies will also have flu shots available.

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