PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Health officials are urging people to get a flu shot after three deaths connected with the illness are confirmed in North Carolina. This time of year is the peak of the flu season, and, for one man, the pain that comes with the potentially deadly illness is all too real.
Tom Clark's daughter died in 2009 after complications from the flu. Meaghan was just 16 and did not receive a flu vaccination the year she died. Meaghan's father says her death was something his family never expected.
"She was healthy, she was strong, and there was nothing really to worry about," Clark said. "Just as a precautionary measure, he [the doctor] wanted to put her in a hospital to get her strength back."
But the illness progressed rapidly, and Meaghan died just three days later.
"They were prepping her as we spoke to put her on a respirator. At that point, I knew I had to get home," Clark said.
Meaghan's father was working in another state when she got sick and was not able to make it home in time to say goodbye to his little girl.
"To have this happen is bad enough, but it cuts twice when it happens and I'm not even able to be here," Clark said.
But he says there's one thought he just can't shake.
"Would Meaghan have survived if she had had a flu shot?" Clark said. "I don't know, but to have to look back now and think, ‘What if?' What if something so simple could have prevented this tragedy…"
Now, he is urging everyone he can to get the shot and avoid the pain he feels.
If you still have not received your shot here is a list of places that offer the vaccine:
Flu clinics will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the Health Department Boardroom starting October 2.
Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
People interested in flu shots should call the Health Department to be placed on a waiting list. People will be notified by telephone when to come into the clinic.
The cost of the shot is $30.
Call the Flu Line at 253-2344 or 253-2356.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY
The Health Department will start administering flu shots on October 13. Appointments for the shots can be made starting October 2.
Please called 798-6646 to make an appointment.
The Health Department is accepting Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicaid, Medicare, State Employees Insurance and Health Choice.
Columbus County Health Department will give the flu vaccine starting on October 15, 2007.
The Flu Vaccine Clinic hours will be 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday. The flu vaccine will only be given during these hours.
This is a walk-in clinic, no appointment is needed.
The cost of the flu vaccine will be $31.00.
Individuals with Medicare Part B and Medicaid can receive the flu vaccine at no cost. Please remember to bring your Medicare or Medicaid cards.
If you have any questions call Columbus County Health Department at 640-6615.
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