Flu shot

Delaware's largest private employer spent most of Thursday making sure as many employees as possible got a flu shot.

Amanda Latina, assistant nurse manager at ChristianaCare's Transitional Surgical unit at Christiana Hospital, was one of thousands of ChristianaCare employees who got a flu shot.

She knows first-hand how particularly bad the last flu season was in the area.

"Last season, we had a lot of really sick patients with the flu," Latina said. "A lot of patients that had pre-existing conditions that either didn't get the flu shot or they came in contact with someone who had the flu and they contracted it. Patients that come down with the flu, who need to be hospitalized, typically it's not because of the flu but because of complications of the flu. So they're dehydrated or have respiratory failure. And it's scary.  There are times where the flu just takes over and they just don't make it."

So, what time do you have to start if you're looking to administer at least 8,000 flu shots?

"Three o'clock this morning," said Dr. Ken Silverstein, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for ChristianaCare. "We've got folks out and running until nine o'clock tonight--getting to more than 100 locations around the state. We have drive-thru locations...trying to make it as convenient as possible for our caregivers to get their vaccinations."

The campaign was dubbed #HitMeWithYourFluShot.

"We can't take care of the community if we're not here for them," Silverstein said. "So we're creating a workforce that is strong and healthy through the vaccination program."

This flu season, which has already started, is shaping up to be just as bad, if not worse, prompting health officials to urge area residents to get their flu shot. An 8-year-old child from New Castle County was identified as Delaware's first flu case this season.

"I will tell you the flu shot does not hurt. It's a second, and it's over, and you've done something really positive for your health and for the health of the community," Silverstein said.