Flu vaccine supply running low in DC area

Flu vaccine supply running low in DC area

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WASHINGTON -

This early onset of the flu is causing a run on the flu vaccine in the D.C. area. Some doctor's offices and local pharmacies have already run out.

Metropolitan Pediatrics in Rockville started seeing cases of the flu in October and they just keep coming.

"We've had 20 [cases] in the past two weeks," Dr. Steve Silvestro says.

And now, they are out of flu vaccine. 

"We ordered 1,200 to 1,300 flu shots," says Dr. Silvestro. "We ran out a week ago."

And they are not alone.


Flu Links

The 2012-2013 flu season is off to an early start, and it's widespread in many states.


The Pediatric Village on Massachusetts Avenue is out too. The office manager says they won't have any until Monday.

That is why little Nima and his mom wound up at the Minute Clinic inside the CVS Pharmacy in Tenleytown.

"We called our pediatrician, and they said they were out, so we came here," Rosita Mehrdad says.

The CVS Pharmacy itself is out of vaccine, but the Minute Clinic, tucked inside the store, still had vaccine available. It is good news for preschool teacher Paul Giguerre.

"I'm exposed everyday," he says.

With Virginia, D.C. and Maryland reporting unusually high levels of the flu already, the vaccine shortage could get worse.

More than 128 million doses of the vaccine have already been distributed nationwide. That is 95 percent of what manufacturers provided this year.

But since the flu season hasn't even peaked yet, doctors say it is worth the hunt for a shot.

"The recommendation is that even if you've had the flu, go get the shot," says Dr. Silvestro. "There are three strains of the flu out there, and it will protect you against any others that you didn't have that crop up this year."


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