Experts urge people to get flu shot this holiday season

Experts urge people to get flu shot this holiday season

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - "People can definitely die from the flu," said Carol Franklin, Staff Pharmacist at the Walmart in North Charleston.

That's why experts  are telling people to get their flu shot. Although most fatal cases of influenza are seen in the elderly and young patients, having the flu can make you susceptible to more serious infections. This flu season, there have been 8 deaths and 514 people hospitalized in South Carolina. Experts say the flu is nothing to joke about.

"I'm older and people should protect themselves. Yes I advise anybody to get the flu shot," said Vera Cooper.

Another reason experts say it's important to get the shot now is because we're in the peak of the holiday season.

"They're in more contact with their family members and they're out shopping in close quarters. To be honest, your immune system gets worn out in the holidays too because everyone gets kind of burnt out," said Franklin.

Franklin says it's also important to understand that if you get the flu shot, it doesn't mean you won't get the flu.

"The vaccines are not going to cover you 100%. There can be that random strain that comes in," said Franklin.

She says the shot can lessen the symptoms if you happen to get it.

"If they haven't gotten it already they're in trouble. I mean we are seeing issues where people havent gotten their flu shots and they're coming in with Tamiflu prescriptions and Tamiflu is on the back order," said Franklin.

Actually, the Walmart in North Charleston was sold out of Tamiflu early on Thursday, but they got a new shipment in the afternoon. So getting the flu shot, may just be worth the prick of a needle.

"It's worth it. It really is," said Cooper.

Pharmacists at the Walmart say most insurance providers cover the cost of the flu shot. If you don't have insurance, you can pay $25. The Walmart in North Charleston is open seven days a week. For more information on the flu, you can visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's website at

Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.