First Lady Kristin Cooper Teams Up with State Health Director to Encourage Vaccination Against Flu

North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper receives her flu shot

North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper receives her flu shot from Michelle Winings, a registered nurse with the Wake County Human Services Immunization Tracking team.

Oct. 3, 2017 — North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper joined State Health Director Dr. Betsey Tilson at Wake County Human Services to encourage North Carolinians to get vaccinated against the flu.

Cooper got her flu shot on Sept. 26 at the Wake County Human Services Immunization Clinic, which was holding its first of three clinics for Wake County employees.

The First Lady smiled and said she “didn’t feel a thing” after nurse Michelle Winings administered the shot. Cooper said afterward that she did not get vaccinated last year and came down with the flu.

“A flu shot is a simple step that is vitally important to protecting yourself during flu season,” said Cooper. “Not only does it protect you, it protects people around you, including your friends and family.”

Flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring in North Carolina with activity usually peaking in January or February. The CDC recommends yearly vaccination against the flu for everyone 6 months and older. 

For the second year in a row, the CDC is recommending the injectable vaccine instead of the nasal spray because of concerns about the nasal spray’s effectiveness.

“A flu shot can protect you for the duration of the flu season, which typically ends in early spring,” said Tilson, who spends her Tuesday mornings taking care of patients at Wake County Human Services' Child Health Clinic. “We recommend that people get vaccinated before the end of October. Spread of the flu can be more effectively prevented if more people get vaccinated early in the season.”

Flu shots are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments.

Cobey Culton