As flu season reaches its dangerous peak, experts agree that a flu shot can be insurance against serious complications ‒ or even death.

But whether or not children or adults in Michigan get vaccinated seems to be a function of geography – and poverty – as much as anything else, putting rural and poor residents at even greater risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said Friday this year’s flu season looks to be the worst since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, with as many as 150 predicted pediatric deaths nationally.

Yet in rural Oscoda County, in the northeast Lower Peninsula, state data show just 10.4 percent of children age 17 and under got flu shots by the end of December. That’s lowest in the state. In rural Cass County in southwest Michigan, 12.6 percent got flu shots.