People packing into independent clinics, hoping to avoid germs

12:51 PM, Jan 13, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Hundreds of people packed into independent flu clinics Saturday, hoping to avoid possible exposure to the flu at doctor's offices.

"We've had a number of people comment that they didn't want to go to their doctor's office because that's where the sick people were," said Craig Hotvedt, Executive Director of Health Fair 11.

Hundreds more than expected showed up for the KARE 11 flu clinic on Saturday. And it was the same kind of overwhelming turnout at Aquila Elementary in St. Louis Park, where parents and nurses served up both pancakes and flu shots at a combined community breakfast and flu immunization clinic.

Among the reasons people gave for choosing the independent clinics? Convenience and safety.

"The doctor's office. There's a lot of bad, contaminated furniture that kids touch and you can get sick from that," said Mac McGuire, who brought his 4-year-old son, Ethan, to the KARE 11 clinic.

"I don't feel like being around people that are already sick with the flu," said Kelly Marble of Hopkins.

Health officials are urging everyone to get the flu shot or spray, despite the relatively late date. They believe they should have enough flu vaccine to last throughout the season, but they also admit that can change as demand continues to go up during what is now being dubbed a "serious" flu season.

"I don't want to promise as the season progresses that there might not be some issues," said Kris Ehresmann, Director for Infectious Disease at the Minnesota Department of Health.  "But at least right now, we feel we have a handle on it,"

To find out where you can go to get the flu vaccine, just go to: http://flushot.healthmap.org/

 

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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