Push to get flu vaccine following Pierce County's first flu-related death

Influenza cases are escalating early this year, and pharmacists across the South Sound are urging people to get their vaccines.

Influenza cases are escalating early this year, and pharmacists across the South Sound are urging people to get their vaccines.

Mary Seivert-Love said she gets her flu shot every year.

"Healthwise, it's just good to have,” she said.

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Public health nurse Denise Stinson, with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, said getting a flu shot is a smart move and exactly what health officials recommend. However, not everyone follows doctors' orders.

“Most people do not get their flu shot,” said Stinson. "About 48 % of adults in the United States get their flu vaccine."

People who get the flu should expect to be sick for several days.

“The first two or three days are very miserable: body aches, fever, cough, sore throat,” said Stinson.

Last year, 42 people in Pierce County died after getting the flu.

Late last month, a man in his 80s, who had chronic health concerns, died from flu-related complications. His death was the county's first flu-related death this season.

Rankos Stadium Pharmacy in Tacoma offers the flu vaccine every day.

"I've always gotten them, and I haven't really gotten the flu yet, knock on wood, so I feel like it's a good preventative measure,” said pharmacy technician Ashley Ganan.

Dec. 1 through Dec. 7 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, which is a national push to get people vaccinated ahead of the holidays.

Flu season is officially here, and health officials said it'll be months before the virus goes away.

"I think more people are waiting to see more people with the flu to get vaccines, so get vaccinated,” said Ganan.

The flu shot typically takes about two weeks to be fully effective.

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