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CoastLine is a variety news show, which airs Wednesdays from 12pm - 1pm on WHQR.Every week, we’ll look into issues that matter in the Cape Fear Region. Host Rachel Lewis Hilburn will interview expert guests and invite you to join the conversation.

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. 

Guests: 

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

Resources: 

Frequently Asked Questions -- CDC: 

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm

https://health.nhcgov.com/your-health/walk-in-services/

http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/health/flu/

http://www.pendercountync.gov/hhs/health-human-services/health-department/immunization-clinic/