Thousands Receive Free Flu Shots

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- Our weather is certainly starting to feel like Fall, but another season is about to begin, the flu season.

The best way to not get it is to get the flu shot and corporate and local money continues to be behind a yearly push for free vaccinations.

This weekend there were several flu shot clinics being conducted around the region.

The sight was common, nurses and doctors working with needles, the tools of the trade, to stock up to fight a pretty nasty enemy.

"The flu can be pretty bad,” said Terry Phillips who received a free flu shot at West High School on Saturday, “it can lay you down for the good part of a week if you're not careful."

"I don't want to get the flu,” said Aldena Phillips, who also got the shot, “I'd prefer to stay healthy and not miss work."

More than 7,600 Knoxvillians took advantage of the free medicine, hoping that a little bit of prevention can really go a long way.

"I've always had one,” said Stephen May, “the older I get, the more I feel like I need that prevention."

"I've had the flu before and it's not any fun,” Audrey May said, “I have certain medical conditions that it could aggravate."

Keeping in tune with good health brought the usual long lines for this year's "Flu Shot Saturday".

It’s a 13 year tradition with a pretty successful outcome for some.

"I usually don't get the flu, so that's a big difference for me,” said Aldena. “I also don’t get as many colds either."

Terry Phillips needs to think hard for the last time he wasn't flu free.

"I can't remember,” he said, “it was before she had the flu, which is about seven or eight years ago."

Even with the typically high demand for the sick saving serum, this year, everybody's covered.

"We just made sure that we got as much serum in as we needed,” said Mary Sowell from the UT College of Nursing. “There's just not a problem with it this year and there has been a problem in the past."

While the older and younger portions of our population are in the higher risk category, the illness should never be taken lightly.

"My brother was taking care of somebody in a hospital just back in the winter,” Sowell said. “He was 41 years old, came in and six hours later he was dead."

The potentially life-saving measures of the medical kind were not the only draw to "Flu Shot Saturday".

It also offered the chance to aid the Knoxville News-Sentinel's "Empty Stocking Fund," which brought in folks who even have their own family doctor.

When all was said and done, they had raised $43,905, nearly $5,000 more than last year.

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