Seniors Wonder If Flu Bug Will Bite - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/20/04

Seniors Wonder If Flu Bug Will Bite

At the Golden Age Lifestyle Expo, senior citizens Aaron and Juanice Freeman can get their blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol checked in the Gulfport Memorial Hospital van. The Freeman's usually get their flu shots there too,  but this year, there's no vaccine. 

"I get a flu shot every year and this year I've called my doctor, he doesn't have it. I've called my pharmacist and health department so I don't know where else to go," says Juanice Freeman. 

Her husband, Aaron, says, "There's a lot of people, maybe not me but there's a lot of people that really have to have it,  ya know the youngsters they get the flu quicker than we do but I'm concerned."

Health professionals say even if the flu vaccine becomes available not everyone will be able to get a shot. Health care workers will have to follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines in determining who qualifies.

Nurse Donna Reid says, "And only be able to administer vaccine to the very young who are at high risk and the elderly and the people in between ages of two and 65 they'll have to show they have a chronic health condition just for us to administer a vaccine to them."

As frustrating as it is trying to find somewhere to get vaccinated, Reid says she's urging seniors not to give up. 

"They're trying to vaccine those at highest risk because those are the people who are at the most risk to suffer serious illness, I mean have severe enough illnesses to require hospitalization or even cause death."

The Freeman's are in that high risk group, but with vaccine apparently nowhere to be found, they can only hope the flu bug won't bite them this year.

byMarcia Hill

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