Flu season starting early in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY-- 20-year-old Dakota Harjo can't afford to miss work, which is one reason why he got his annual flu vaccine.

"I think it would be worth getting the flu shot just so you don't get sick and make sure other people with weak immune systems don't get it. Just good to get all the vaccines," he said.

But state health officials say millennials are at a higher risk for the flu.

In fact, 25% surveyed say they avoid the shot because of the cost.

"Millennials can be severely affected, not just getting the flu but getting hospitalized and even dying," said Oklahoma State Epidemiologist Kendra Dougherty.

Already, eight Oklahomans have been hospitalized. There are confirmed cases in Oklahoma, Tulsa, Cleveland and Logan counties.

"Doing everything to protect yourself and your family from getting the flu in this early flu season is the right thing to do," Dougherty said.

That includes washing your hands frequently throughout the day, sneezing into a tissue or sleeve and avoiding work or school if you have a fever.

State health officials say a moment of discomfort can provide you a season of protection.

"$25 is a lot cheaper than a hospital stay or urgent care or something. It's just one more shot so go ahead and do it and I promise you won't regret it," she said.