BALTIMORE (WJZ)—As the flu season intensifies in Maryland and across the country, people are rushing out to get vaccinated. But is it still worth it?
Monique Griego has what you need to know.
If you haven’t been vaccinated, doctors say you still should.
The scramble to get vaccinated is on as the number of states with widespread flu outbreaks jumps to 47.
“It’s been really bad. A relative of ours was in the hospital. It turned into pneumonia and was actually ventilated for five days,” said Mark Hill, who received a vaccination this year.
Hill didn’t want to take any chances, so he brought his daughter to a free flu mist clinic at the health center in Glen Burnie.
“It was pretty simple. They just put some stuff up your nose,” said Grace Hill.
Nationwide, 20 kids have died this flu season.
As infections reach near epidemic levels, health leaders are urging everyone over 6 months old to get vaccinated.
“Absolutely, get your flu shot,” said Linda Josephson, Anne Arundel County Health Department.
According to the CDC, this year’s vaccine is around 62 percent effective. Doctors say if you get the flu but were already vaccinated your sickness won’t be as severe.
“It will give you the antibodies to help fight the flu virus should you get in contact with the virus, and there’s been lots of cases, so the likelihood has been higher,” Josephson said.
Within minutes of opening, the flu mist clinic was packed with people anxious to protect themselves.
“Everybody at work is sick. Just wanted to come in make sure I don’t get sick,” said Korey Earles, who received a vaccination.
When asked if the flu had reached its peak, doctors say it’s hard to tell. Things could still get worse.
Most people who were hospitalized with the flu in Maryland were over the age of 65.