First Walk-In Flu Clinic Open To Public - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/3/05-East Texas

First Walk-In Flu Clinic Open To Public

It's a day thousands of East Texans have been waiting for.

This is the first time people could get a flu shot without an appointment. After months of calling and making trips to cancelled flu shot clinics, Frank Pierce had almost given up hope of finding a vaccine for his wife.

"The clinic that I go to and she goes to, ran out. They ran completely out, " says Frank Pierce.

But today his worries ended at the first walk-in flu clinics from the Health District.

"We take it every year. We've never missed a year of taking the flu shot, and neither one of us has ever had a cold, or a flu either by taking this shot," says Pierce.

He wasn't the only one relieved. Almost 100 people came to get the shot they'd been looking for for months.

"I feel a lot better, I do. I feel relieved. What if I got it? You know I'm a diabetic, a bad one. I have been for over 33 years. And I don't figure it would take much. I called my doctors, I have three of them, and none of them could provide me with a flu shot, so I thought I was going to have to give up but then I saw this advertised on television," says Synthia Simpson.

Since shot criteria dropped to people ages 50 to 65 without serious heath problems, and to anyone at high risk, even more people can get their hands on the shot.

10-year-old Kelsey Wells got hers in Dallas a few weeks ago. She's eligible because of past health problems.

"I had walking pneumonia last year. But I got my shot and fortunately I haven't had it this year," says Kelsey.

In the next few months, flu season will be at its peak, another reason people like Frank Pierce say they're glad to be here today.

"You don't know what's coming in now, no one does, some strands of this flu are pretty hard to shake. And that's one reason it's important for everyone to get this if they can."

If you missed out today, don't worry, you'll have more chances to get the shot. The clinics will continue everyday from 8:30 to 11 AM, at the Health District.

That's at 815 North Broadway in Tyler. Shots are 18 dollars, and will be given until they run out for those who qualify.

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