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East Texans weigh in on getting the flu vaccine

From getting vaccinated to protecting the family to having a bad reaction. Tylerites have different opinions about getting the flu vaccine.

TYLER, Texas — Doctors are starting to remind the public about getting the annual flu vaccine

This year, there are worries about how strong the flu will be after its decline during COVID-19 lockdowns. 

"Everybody's throat is already getting scratchy and I'm getting nervous," said Keandra Williams, a Tyler resident. "I tend to catch the flu really easily so I get cautious."

Williams said she got the flu vaccine last Friday and that she's nervous about the next few months.  

Meanwhile other residents are opting out of the shot.

"I like to let their immune systems fight off any sickness," said Melissa Bunz, a Tyler resident. "That builds it stronger."

Bunz had a bad experience getting the flu shot for herself, and she doesn’t want her kids to go through the same thing. 

"I got so sick, I was almost put in the hospital," Bunz said. "It was the year that they started introducing the live viruses more rapidly, and I just opt out now."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the only flu vaccine that contains a "live virus" is attenuated flu nasal spray vaccine (FluMist Quadrivalent) "made with attenuated (weakened) live flu viruses, which is approved for use in people 2 years through 49 years."

Pedro Herrera said his family hasn’t gotten the vaccine, but they’re not against it. 

"I think it’s good," Herrera said. "The thing is we haven’t gotten it yet because we haven’t needed it."

Faster Staffing registered nurse Patricia Crowder says the medical field is predicting a rough ride with the upcoming flu season.

Crowder works with assisted living communities - a community doctors are suggesting get the stronger dose of the flu vaccine. 

"We're following CDC guidelines, giving the high dose for our residents who are over 65," Crowder said. "This year we are seeing better participation than we saw last year."

Williams made sure her grandmother received a vaccination. 

"She's at home with the grandkids and they all go to school now so I don't want her to be put in situation where she can get infected," Williams said. "She needs the best that she can get for her body."

Crowder also mentioned that it’s important to care of yourself if you catch the flu. She says the easiest way to do that is staying home and washing your hands frequently. 

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