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CoastLine: Will The Flu Shot Protect You? And Other Virology Questions...

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This year’s flu is the worst in nearly a decade.  So far this season, 63 elderly people have died in North Carolina alone from the flu.  25 people between the ages 50 to 64 have passed from the flu -- and four deaths fall into that low-risk category of people ages 25 to 49.  The total death toll in North Carolina from flu this season:  95.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says February is the month that most infections occur.  But are there good reasons to avoid the flu shot?  Will it even protect you during this particularly intense flu season?

The scientific community has established the overall efficacy and safety of both flu and childhood vaccines. However, North Carolina law allows for religious exemptions for childhood vaccines, and the number of people claiming this exemption in the state has doubled from 2012, according to statistics from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore whether there is a basis for concern about vaccines – and despite all those government-driven PSAs – if getting a flu shot will do you any good this year. 


Art Frampton, Associate Professor of Biology and Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a specialty in virology 

Phillip Tarte,Director of Public Health, New Hanover County


Frequently Asked Questions -- CDC: 





Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR
Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.