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More people getting flu shot after hearing of outbreak

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Albany/HV: More people getting flu shot after hearing of outbreak
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More people are getting the flu shot since hearing of the flu outbreak ravaging the country. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has the story.

BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. -- "This is the first time," said Sharry Delratez, a flu vaccine patient at the flu clinic held by the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice Care of Northern Berkshire on Friday.

There are many more cases like hers. Those who have never gotten a flu shot, but are now opting for the vaccine, since hearing of the outbreak sweeping the country.

"We had the clinic this past Wednesday from 8 to 4, and we saw 12 patients. So, two days later, in half of the time frame, we saw 60," said Karen Bednarz, clinical supervisor for the VNA office in North Adams.

There have been 6,000 confirmed cases of the flu throughout Massachusetts. Berkshire County has not been hit as hard as Boston, where a public health emergency has been declared. At the VNA office in North Adams, it was clear that some people were not taking chances.

"I come in contact with people from different parts of the state, people who are doing interviews and talking to them, and I thought, it might be a good thing to do. Haven't done it before. But, this might be the year to get the flu shot," said Mike Walczak, also a flu vaccine patient on Friday.

Bednarz says she usually sees a spike of flu cases around February and March. Since it's only January, she thinks that may be the reason for all the publicity.

"There are two groups of people that should be immunized: people that are ill already with other types of diseases like diabetes or cardiac diseases and people that aren't ill. So, that pretty much covers everybody," said Bednarz.

The VNA has a few hundred doses of the flu vaccine left.

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