Hundreds of people seeking the flu vaccine showed up Saturday at a special clinic sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Association.

A line formed about a half-hour before the clinic opened, said Kris Stapp, vice president of community public health services at the Omaha VNA.

One reason people showed up — they've had the flu before, Stapp said.

“They never want to have it again,” she said.

Reports of flu-related deaths in Nebraska and around the country also motivated people.

“News of seemingly healthy people dying of symptoms gets people in here,” Stapp said. “It makes it more real.”

The waiting time for vaccines was about 20 minutes. The clinic charged $25 for a flu shot and $30 for FluMist, which is administered through the nostrils.

About 350 people, including some from Lincoln and Fremont, were vaccinated at the three-hour clinic, a spokeswoman said. Because of the turnout, another flu clinic was added at the VNA, 12565 West Center Road, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.

Connie Burgers and her son, Steve, got vaccinated Saturday. Both had received the vaccine in past years, too.

Burgers had a strain of influenza around Thanksgiving and wanted to be protected against other strains. As a teacher, she knows she will be around the flu in school.

“I regret not going in October. I'm definitely going to start doing it earlier,” she said.

Julie Shallenberger brought her daughters, Addie, 9, and Macie, 7, in for FluMist vaccines. Shallenberger planned on taking the children to a local pharmacy, but the store had run out of vaccine.

Addie and Macie were a bit nervous but said it wasn't too bad.

“We didn't want to get sick,” Addie said.

It isn't too late to get vaccinated, Stapp said.

“Every day you've had the flu shot, you're better protected,” Stapp said.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1304,

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