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Posted: 5:09 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
By Robyn McGlohn
MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. —
This year’s mild winter kept patients from knocking down doctors’ doors with concerns about the flu, but doctors say the season is long from over.
And they said the lack of concern could cost a lot of money and affect patients well into next year.
"Last year, it was so cold, and we all got the flu shot, and this year me and Kevin opted out of the flu shot,” said Ashley Walling.
Dr. Charles Bregier from Matthews Urgent Care said two-thirds of the people he sees are not getting the flu shot this year. He said they have only given 100 flu shots this year.
Last year, his office had given out several hundred.
Unused flu shots will be thrown away in June, when they expire.
Dr. Stephen Keener at the Mecklenburg County Health Department said they also have a lot of unused vaccines.
“Every year there are millions of millions of doses of flu vaccine that are destroyed,” he said.
This year, the North Carolina Department of Health spent $6.5 million on 550,000 doses of the flu vaccine.
The agency currently has 30,000 doses still on the shelf, a $290,000 loss.
But Keener said the health department must be prepared.
“It may not be the worst year in history, but it will be coming,” he said.
For information on where to get a flu shot, click here.
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