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Many Atlantans say they're skipping out on this year's flu shot

Doctors say vaccine fatigue may lead to higher flu numbers.

ATLANTA — If you're tired of being pricked, boosted, and the plethora of medical information, it's what experts call vaccine fatigue. Health officials say that's what many Georgians are feeling right now and they're choosing to not get the flu shot as a result.

Vaccine fatigue can be defined as: People’s inertia or inaction towards vaccine information or instruction due to perceived burden and burnout.

11Alive spoke to Dr. Brent Harris of US MedClinic and Dr. Dana Neacsu of Medical Creations Integrative Medicine. Both say at least half their patients who received the flu shot last year, haven't or don't plan to this year.

"It’s about the frequency of the immunizations. We’ve had a number of those -- we’ve had COVID, we’ve had the flu shot, and now monkeypox," Dr. Neacsu said. She says the continuous stream of information can be overwhelming not just for patients, but also for medical professionals too.

"This is a problem and we need to work on it because guess what? All these vital illnesses aren’t going anywhere," she said.

RELATED: Georgia's flu rate among highest in the nation, data shows

Dr. Harris says one part of vaccine fatigue has to do with misinformation. 

He says so many people thought vaccines prevented COVID-19-- and then after getting the shot-- they either got the virus or experienced side effects. He says that confusion from the beginning still lingers today.

Dr. Neacsu also says some people think the COVID booster is strong enough to protect them from the flu, but she says that's not the case.

"Having specific immunization for special illnesses is important," Neacsu said. "COVID vaccines are not going to cover you or help you prevent the flu and vice versa."

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