Reports of flu shot shortages nationally

Health expert: Benefit of flu shot compared to seat belts

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:48:27 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 11 2013 05:45:15 PM EST
Flu
DETROIT -

Nationally 20 children have died from the flu and four of those here in Michigan.

Health officials say the flu continues to spread but there is early evidence the illness could be waning in a few parts of the country.

Find a flu shot location in Michigan.

A recent robocall went out to 45,000 people in Boston urging them to get vaccinated against the flu.

The latest data hints the flu season may have peaked in the southeast.

But it's far from over. The illness is now widespread in 47 states, sparing only California, Hawaii and Mississippi the worst of the outbreak.

Thousands are ill, an Oklahoma school closed Friday for a massive scrub-down because of the number of sick students.

A new study of more than 1000 patients finds the flu shot is 62 percent effective. That means you're 62 percent less likely to need to see a doctor if you do get sick. 

far from perfect but doctors point out it's the best tool available to protect patients from the worst outcomes.

"It does prevent the complications, pneumonia, hospitalizations and hello, death," said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University

As demand grows there are reports of "shot shortages" in some areas of the country.

The message is clear, if you want a flu shot get one soon.

Health experts don't want people to be discouraged by the 62 percent effectiveness.

One compared the flu shots to seat belts.

They don't protect you in every crash but there's no question they do save lives.

Flu shot

Flu call center:

To help health care consumers identify flu symptoms and treatment options, Beaumont Hospitals has launched an H1N1 Call Center.

Staffed by a registered nurses, the center is a toll-free, 24-hour-a-day community resource accurate information about flu symptoms and advice on when and where to seek medical attention.

The call center number is 888-375-H1N1.

Flu related information:

What is influenza?

Fighting back against the flu.

What to do if you have the flu

Flu shot myths addressed

Tips: Protect others when coughing, sneezing