Delaware Hopes More Millennials Get Flu Shot This Season - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Hopes More Millennials Get Flu Shot This Season

Posted: 10/10/2017 18:04:00 -04:00 Updated:

DOVER, Del. -- With some research suggesting many Millennials skip getting a flu vaccine, some Delaware health officials are encouraging young adults to take the potential health hazards of influenza seriously and get vaccinated.

A 2016 study focusing on data from urgent care centers in New York City found 52 percent of Millennials did not get flu shots, with many believing it would not prevent them from getting the flu.

But Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of Delaware's Division of Public Health, said it's important for anyone 6 months or older to get a flu shot because it can help protect other people whose immune systems may not be as strong as many younger, healthier people. The vaccine is seen as being especially important for groups that may be at higher risk for complications from the flu, like older people, young children, and pregnant women.

"We're all around high-risk people and so we all can be spreading the infection and giving it to high-risk people," she said.

Mark Gloyd, a 31-year-old nursing student from Dover who visited a flu shot clinic at the DelDOT headquarters off Bay Road on Tuesday, said he's not surprised many Millennials don't get vaccinated.

"A lot of us are used to having our parents take care of all these things. Having to find a flu clinic, get a shot, actually take care of the paperwork."

Erik Mabus, a pharmacist at Bayard Pharmacy in Dover, said he tends to see stronger immunization numbers from people in higher-risk groups and older adults. He said many millennials likely believe they won't get sick or that they are "bulletproof." 

"Obviously it's worse for people who are older or your really young children, but even a healthy adult who gets the flu is going to be laid up for a week and they're not going to like it," he said. "Probably after they get it the first time, they're going to want to get it the next year."

On average, roughly 200,000 people must be hospitalized from flu each year in the U.S. with about 36,000 people dying from influenza.

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