NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There’s still over a week left until the official start of the flu season, but health officials have already confirmed the first flu-related death of the year.
Medical professionals at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital said it’s a tragic reminder that the flu can kill.
“It’s really important to begin that process of getting vaccinated, even now, because we know that those who are vaccinated are most protected,” said Dr. Buddy Creech
Clarksville mother, Jennifer Graffed, said her 3-year-old daughter, Azaria, came down with the flu at the end of August.
“It’s really scary, we’ve been through a lot with her,” said Graffed
Graffed said that her daughter’s fever spiked to just over 103 degrees. She added that her daughter contracting the flu could’ve been deadly. Azaria was born with a congenital heart defect.
“One of the reasons we vaccinate is not only to protect ourselves but to protect those around us; because there are many children who can’t get a flu vaccine or if they do get it, their immunes systems are weakened and they can’t respond the way we might,” said Dr. Creech
That same season, the CDC reported that 129 children died from the virus. The agency says that the elderly are also at an increased risk.
The Metro Public Health Department just started offering its flu vaccines this week.
Flu shots are offered Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Health Department’s East Health Center, 1015 East Trinity Lane; Woodbine Health Center, 224 Oriel Avenue; and the new Lentz Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Avenue.
The fee for the flu vaccine is $25.00 for adults with private insurance, and a sliding scale is available if needed. TennCare and Medicare Part B insurance are accepted and fully cover the $25.00 fee (please remember to bring your Medicare Part B insurance card).