The idea for the promotion, called UberHEALTH, came from John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He said he's long been troubled by how inconvenient it is to get a flu shot – and how important. Every year anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 Americans die from the flu, depending on the strain, severity and length of season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu shots aren't perfect, but they can prevent or lessen most infections.
Flu shots are particularly recommended this year because of fears of Ebola, which shares the flu's early symptoms. Preventing flu infections will avert unnecessary panic and overcrowding of hospitals, Brownstein said.