Thousands get vaccinated during "Free Flu Shot Saturday"

7:27 PM, Sep 24, 2011   |    comments
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Thousands of East Tennesseans received their free flu vaccination Saturday during the Knoxville News Sentinel's annual immunization event. Donations will benefit the "Empty Stocking Fund," a charity which provides meals and toys during the holiday season.

This marks the 17th year of free flu shots. This year, donations totaled more than $24,000.

Organizers say more than 6,000 were vaccinated at several locations around Knoxville. Farragut High School drew the biggest crowd of nearly 2,000 people.

"They have gotten up early, came and got their flu shots so they'd stay healthy this winter and then went on with the rest of the activities for the day," said Deanene Catani, regional marketing director for the News Sentinel.

Volunteer and Farragut junior Sarah Luntz stepped in line for her shot during a volunteer break. She says, with her busy schedule there is no time for a sick day.

"If you're in high school and you're taking AP classes, you just cannot miss anything. You have to be here, or else you'll be behind for, like, two weeks," she said.

The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine each year. Flu season peaks in January or February, but health officials encourage early vaccinations.

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