Doctor reports flu vaccine shortage following rapid rise in flu cases

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 7:01 PM

HOUSTON—If you have been looking for the flu shot you know it is getting hard to find.

The rapid rise of flu in the Houston area and the number of young people infected has plenty of people asking Dr. Roland Maldonaldo for the flu shot, but there is just one problem.

“We are completely out of flu shots. Have been for nearly a month,” said Maldonado.

Like most doctors’ offices, when his supply is gone it is gone until next season.

“We tried to order some, but I don’t think that we will be able to get any—not this late in the season,” he said.

In Montgomery County, where this year’s flu cases were first seen, the first supply of vaccines was gone before the victims showed up and the county’s second batch is down to just a few doses.

The county and doctor have similar recommendations.

“I am asking everybody to go to a Walgreen’s or CVS or a Randall’s,” said Maldonaldo.

Even that seems to be hit-and-miss at this point.

We called the first 10 locations listed on the vaccine finder application in the Harris County Health web site and only two of them had any vaccines.

“It does not surprise me that there have been spot shortages. We are told that they have the ability to get the vaccine, all they have to do is order it,” said Kathy Barton, with the City of Houston Health Department.

Other public health sources say that they have been told regionally that CVS has been completely out for two weeks and even Walmart is only getting small supplies at a time.

In the search for vaccines research and persistence are your friend.

”It is still our recommendation to get the flu vaccine. We have several more weeks to go before we don’t see many cases,” Barton said.

 

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