HEALTH

2013 flu outbreak: Flu shots in short supply

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With the CDC calling the recent flu outbreak the worst in decades, people who bypassed getting a flu shot in the fall are now scrambling to get inoculated.

And patients say its growing increasingly difficult to find the flu shot.

“Some places have set up tents in hospitals because they have so many people who are sick and I thought, jeez, I don't want to be in one of those tents,” says Elizabeth Holbrook.

Flu season in the U.S. has hit early and, in some places, hard. But whether this will be considered a bad season by the time it has run its course in the spring remains to be seen.

At an Arlington Walgreen's, they are trying to keep up with demand for flu shots. Pharmacist Melanie O'Brien says they’re on limited supplies.

“Once we get them in we can't hardly keep them in stock, we are out in an hour,” O’Brien says.

At the Accessible Physician Care walk-in clinic in Falls Church, they're seeing a spike in patients coming in with possible cases of flu.

They still have a few vials of the vaccine on hand and say it is not too late to see the benefits of getting inoculated.

“Generally, if you haven't had the flu yet or sometimes even if you have had the fly it can still be protective to get the influenza vaccine,” says Dr. Eran Goldberg.

In DC, there are 310 confirmed flu cases. Last year, there was a total of 97 cases the entire season..

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray warned flu conditions could quickly escalate, especially with thousands arriving for the inauguration.

“We want to make sure that everyone who wants and needs (a flu shot) has an opportunity to get it,” he said.

 

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