Knox County health officials urge people to to get flu shots

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Cases of the flu have been low. There have only been 56 reported cases of the flu in the state of Tennessee this season, but it’s still the beginning of flu season. Health officials say January and February are the months when more cases are reported.

Despite those figures, Dr. Martha Buchanan with the Knox County Health Department says it’s a must for the public to be protected.

Dr. Martha Buchanan
Dr. Martha Buchanan

“The sooner they get in and get vaccinated, the better and we have an ample supply as do all of our partners in the community that give flu vaccine,” said Dr. Buchanan.

Dr. Buchanan says everyone should get a shot, especially children.

“Young children are the ones that introduce not just flu but lots of other diseases like diarrhea illnesses into the community because they’re not great at washing their hands,” said Dr. Buchanan.

She says not only should children get the vaccination, but everyone because the flu can scatter easily.

Dr. Jim McIntyre
Dr. Jim McIntyre

“The flu is spread by droplets in the air, so if you sneeze into your hand and you open that doorknob and then rubs their eye they can get the flu,” said Dr. Buchanan.

Knox County Schools officials say most schools have a 90 percent plus attendance rate at the moment, which is typically good, but superintendent Dr. Jim Mcintyre doesn’t want to take any chances. He still prefers all students to be healthy by getting their vaccinations so they won’t miss their lessons.

“Obviously it’s important for us to make sure that our kids are healthy and our kids are in school and learning. I think this is a great way to make sure our kids are as healthy as they can be,” said Dr. Mcintyre.

Dr. Buchanan says it’s never too late to get your shot. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.

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