The 23rd annual Christmas tree lighting brought two new features to the festivities: Man-made snow and free flu shots.


But while the snow made its presence known, only about a quarter of the 600 flu shots available were given out to attendees.


"I think part of it was the weather," city spokeswoman Kim Summers said Thursday. "I think attendance for the event was probably down a little bit. ... You had to be pretty hearty to stand in that line for an hour."


The city also had too few people administering the shots: Just three nurses had been sent from by San Bernardino County to deliver the shots.


"And six would have been great 12 would have been wonderful," Summers said. "You don't want them sitting around, not doing anything, but there's such a need for free flu shots. ... We got through the line, but I'm sure there were people who just gave up."


City officials are already planning ahead for next year, to make sure more flu shots are administered while attendees wait for Santa Claus to arrive.


"We're going to start creating a database of people in Hesperia who are qualified to give vaccinations," Summers said.


It's something they needed to do anyway: "If we had an incident where we had to inoculate a large group of people, we need to have more people available to give those shots."


The city owns a trailer specifically for that purpose, which was used at the Christmas tree lighting.


Summers herself believes in the shots which are a cocktail designed to combat the most expected strains of flu each year, although they provide less protection against different strains and advocates residents getting them next time around.


"Every year that I've gotten a flu shot, I haven't gotten the flu," she said. "I think they're a good idea for children, people with asthma and people more susceptible to getting complications from the flu. ... Doctors tell you to get them. My husband and my kids, I tell them to get them."