By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The flu emergency continues to grow across the country and in our area. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has an update.
Flu clinics are being expanded. While some people have had difficulty finding shots, officials say there is not a vaccine shortage.
Some locations have run out because they didn’t order enough vaccine before the season started. So you may have to look around for a shot, but officials insist there is plenty.
There are special flu clinics around the region. In West Chester, the Chester County Health Department is expanding it’s outreach.
“We’re giving people an extra opportunity to get in here,” said Betsy Walls, Director of Personal Health Services with the Chester County Health Department.
The influenza outbreak has been earlier than usual this year, but doctors say it’s not too late to get a flu shot. While it takes two weeks to become effective, the vaccine remains the best prevention.
“I know there’s a lot of people who really don’t believe in flu vaccine, but the people who are getting the flu are really sick this year,” said Walls.
Hospital emergency rooms are crowded with people complaining of flu-like symptoms, and some hospitals say there has been an increase in the number of admissions, mostly high risk patients who have flu related complications like pneumonia.
“I really thought it would be important to get a flu shot. There’s been a lot of stuff on the news lately, and I don’t want to get it,” said Megan Corcoran, of West Chester.
There has been an increase in the number of people getting shots, and some have had difficulty finding locations with vaccine.
“We have seen a tremendous increase in the people coming in for vaccine, and the number of calls coming in to our switch board asking if we have vaccine,” said Walls.
Doctors say it’s especially important for people in high risk groups to get a flu shot that includes the elderly, children, and pregnant women.