Patterson, Local Mom Urge Others to Get Flu Vaccine

An Oakland County mother who lost her 23-year-old daughter to the flu joins County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in urging individuals to vaccinate themselves against the influenza virus during National Influenza Vaccination Week.

“Getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones as well,” Patterson said. “Getting a flu shot now will help prevent the virus from spreading as families gather during the Christmas season.”

Patti McCormick’s daughter, Ashley, died Dec. 27, 2013 from influenza-related complications.

“I encourage those who haven’t been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now,” McCormick said. “I am speaking out publicly to tell my daughter’s story, so that others will be spared from this terrible disease that took my daughter’s life too soon.”

Ashley was a healthy, young woman who worked as a nanny. She came home sick with a runny nose, sore throat, and headache on Dec. 20, 2013. One week later, she died from complications related to influenza. She had not received a flu shot.

For many people the flu can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. More than 200,000 people, however, are hospitalized in the United States from flu complications and over 36,000 die from flu each year.

Some people are at higher risk for serious flu-related complications like pneumonia, which can lead to hospitalization or, in some cases, death. The higher-risk group includes young children, pregnant women, and individuals 65 and older. In addition, those who live with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease are also at higher risk.

“For those at high risk for complications, getting the flu vaccine is especially important,” said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of Oakland County Health Division. “It’s also necessary to get the vaccine if you care for anyone at high risk, including babies younger than 6 months since they are too young to get the vaccine.”

Flu vaccine is available at both Health Division offices. They are located at 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East in Pontiac, and 27725 Greenfield Road in Southfield. Office hours are noon – 8 p.m. Monday and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Friday. Flu shots cost $25. The high-dose flu shot recommended for those 65 years and older is $37 and covered by Medicare. Walk-in clients are welcome. Clients may also register and pay for a flu shot online at .

Payment options for the flu vaccine include Visa, MasterCard, some health insurances, Medicare, and/or Medicaid (no checks or money orders). Credit card fees apply. Please bring all insurance cards with you to the clinic.

For more information about influenza or the flu vaccine, talk to your doctor, other health care professional or call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5532. For up-to-date public health information, visit or find Public Health Oakland on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC.

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