Run On Flu Vaccine Drains Supplies At Doctors' Offices | News
MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA) - A surge in demand for flu shots has doctors officers and local pharmacies extra busy. Pharmacist Diane Joo who works at the Anderson Road Safeway in McLean says the number of customers seeking flu shots has tripled over the past week.
Most seem to be people who either forgot or never got around to getting the shot earlier in the season. But doctors say it's not too late and they urge people to protect themselves against the nasty bug.
Esra Tercan, Nurse Practioner with Novamed Associations in Fairfax says it's important for anyone who can to get vaccinated, not only to protect themselves, but everyone else...especially newborns and people who might be immune compromised.
Novamed ran out of the vaccine and advised it's patients who still needed it to find a local pharmacy that's giving the shots.
The state health departments in Maryland, DC and Virginia think there's still adequate supply of flu vaccines. But there are plenty of spot shortages.
The country's biggest manufacturer of flu vaccine says it has already sold out of some formulations -- and it's ramping up next year's vaccine, so it cannot produce anymore of this year's.
Across the country, 128-million doses of vaccine have already gone out -- about 95 percent of what they were planning to make this year.
Doctors say if you think you might've come down with the flu, get to a doctor quickly. A prescription of Tamiflu or Relenza can cut down the length and severity of the virus, and will help prevent related infections that can be more serious.