Flu Season So Bad, Vaccine a Hot Commodity

In some places, people having trouble finding the shot
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2013 12:16 PM CST
Flu Season So Bad, Vaccine a Hot Commodity
Registered nurse Charlene Luxcin administers a flu shot to a patient at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., Jan. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

How bad is this year's flu outbreak? So bad that some places are running low on flu vaccine. USA Today has reports from around the country of people having difficulty finding the shot. One Las Vegas woman reports trying six locations before finding a grocery store drug center that had the vaccine in stock. A Staten Island mother says it took all day to get her daughter vaccinated, and there was a five-hour wait when they finally found an urgent care clinic offering the shot.

But the CDC isn't worried. "The bottom line is there's vaccine out there," a spokesman says. "There may be places where there are spot shortages, but there should be a little bit more coming." Part of the problem is that manufacturers and clinics have to determine their supplies months before they know how bad flu season will be. But that could be changing. The FDA has approved a new insect-based version of the shot that can be produced more rapidly than the six to nine months the traditional shot takes, CNN reports. (Read more flu stories.)

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