WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- When it comes to getting the flu shot, health officials say get it.
North Carolina had its first child death from the flu this week, and doctors say people should avoid the risk of death by getting the vaccine. Many people think the flu shot will make you sick, but doctors say that's not the case. Some think the flu shot is anything but a good thing.
"It's like the flu shot is the flu in a shot, so I don't want it anywhere near me," said Chris Maxie, who did not get the vaccine.
New Hanover County health officials recommend everyone get their shot, and say the sooner the better. New Hanover Regional Medical Center's Dr. Todd Kornegay said his patients often refuse the shot claiming they don't want to get sick from the vaccine. He said that's a common misconception.
"Some of it is distrust," Dr. Kornegay said. "Some of it may be distrust of doctors or distrust in the FDA, but I've seen 50 percent of my patients refuse the flu shot when I offer it to them."
Regardless of the doctor's orders, many people believe the shot will get you sick because they've experienced it first hand.
"I got it so I wouldn't get sick, because I was in college, and then I got really sick for a week and a half, and I missed four days of classes," said Brandy Malabre, who also did not get the vaccine this year. "I hated it, 'cause I got sick anyway, and I felt like it was completely pointless, so I've just been taking the emergency packets, and I haven't gotten the flu since then."
While patients may have had different experiences from the shot, doctors say the smartest thing you can do during the flu season is to get vaccinated.
"Most of the deaths we see from the flu are from the really young and the old, and I mean infants and the elderly folks older than the age of 65," Kornegay said. "Most of the time they get a secondary infection on top of the flu like pneumonia."