Pittsylvania County flu-related death motivates people to get flu shot

Drive-thru flu shot clinic held in Danville on Friday

DANVILLE, Va. – People wasted no time this morning taking advantage of the Virginia Department of Health's free drive-thru flu shot clinic at Hobby Lobby in Danville.

When things officially got rolling at 9 a.m., 15 people, including Tabitha Carter and her young son, had already received an injection.

"I had heard so much on the news about the flu and the toll it was taking on people and I was kind of scared to go into a doctor's office and get one. So I heard about this drive-thru clinic and decided to come down," Carter said. "I actually drove from Martinsville."

Carter brought her son with her after hearing about 7-year-old Kevin Baynes Jr.

The Pittsylvania County boy died last weekend after being diagnosed with the flu.

"That's what scared me into getting down here quickly," Carter said.

This year's flu vaccine has only proven to be about 10 percent effective so far.

Because of that, some people may not bother getting a flu shot this year.

But one woman 10 News spoke to said regardless of how effective or ineffective the flu shot is, she believes it's worthwhile.

"My thought is a little bit is better than nothing," Sheila Pennington said.

Pennington has two children and two grandchildren.

Baynes Jr.'s death was also on her mind when she got her flu shot.

"It broke my heart," Pennington said. "I'm going to tell you, nothing could be worse than losing your child."

Baynes Jr.'s official cause of death is still under investigation by the medical examiner in Roanoke.

The Virginia Department of Health representatives at the clinic said they encourage everyone to get a flu shot.

"Typically, the pattern is about every 10 or so years, we get an extra surge of the ferocity or the aggressiveness of the influenza. It has to do with it changing and mutating. We don't absolutely know why this year over others, it just is," said Dr. Scott Spillman, the VDH's Pittsylvania-Danville Health District director.

Another flu shot clinic will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Danville Community Market at 629 Craghead Street.

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