Mecklenburg Health Officials Urge People To Get Seasonal Flu Vaccine

CHARLOTTE, NC – Health officials in Mecklenburg county make a push on Wednesday for people to get their flu shot as early as possible.

“The flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect against the flu,” said Dr. Meg Sullivan, the Mecklenburg County Medical Director.

Sullivan says there will be a robust supply of tests as local and federal officials prepare for the fall and winter.

“From the federal level, the state level, the county level, it is going to be an incredibly coordinated effort to make sure that the flu vaccine is available as possible,” said Sullivan.

Only 45% of Americans got the vaccine last year, and between 24,000 and 62,000 people died from the seasonal flu.

“Respiratory viruses all together including COVID, including flu will likely be higher than we’ve traditionally seen,” said Dr. Katie Passaretti with Atrium Health, “and that has impacts on hospitalizations, community spread, that kind of thing.”

Passaretti says internal projections show the hospital system will be able to handle an influx of flu and COVID patients.

“Things can change and that we need to continue that vigilance, that preparedness,” said Passaretti.

She says young children should get the show as soon as possible because they need multiple doses. Passaretti also believes there will be ample supply.

“No anticipation of shortages, although we always assess as we go,” said Passaretti.

To ensure people can safely get a flu shot, Atrium plans to set up drive-through vaccinations.

“To alleviate that concern about potential exposure to other people while you’re waiting and whatnot,” said Passaretti.