More local residents attend flu clinics as flu-related in Connecticut deaths continue rise

EAST HARTFORD -- The flu epidemic continues to affect many in the state. This week new flu numbers were released and this weekend—more flu shot clinics were held. There's been more than a dozen new deaths in Connecticut. In last week's report, 63 deaths were noted. This week the number increased to 77.
That's an additional 14 deaths.

Willie Hayes came to get his free flu shot Saturday at East Hartford town hall. There were a number of other flu clinics in the state on Saturday as well.

"I was saying I'm busy but you can't put stuff in front of your health anymore but it's becoming too much of an issue too, many deaths," said Willie Hayes, from East Hartford.

The CDC estimates the flu vaccine is just 36-percent effective against both a and b virus strains. Experts still say the best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get a flu shot

"If you get the flu shot and then you get the flu your symptoms could be much less than what it could be if you've never had the flu," said Karen Pagliaro, the Director of community and government relations at Hartford Healthcare.

Pagliano added we haven't reached peak flu season yet, and that the season could run into May. She added once you get your shot it should be good for about six to seven months. Across the state more than 49-hundred people have tested positive for flu since August.

The surgeon general said three-quarters of the 63 children who have died of flu complications this season had not been vaccinated. Senator Richard Blumenthal stopped by this clinic today to drive home those numbers

"These flu clinics are life savers literally they are time savers for people who would be out of work or school they are tremendous convenience but also a matter of life and death for children and for older people," said Senator Richard Blumenthal.