Demand for seasonal flu shots is surpassing supply

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 4:56 PM
Last updated 6:15 PM
  • Follow Latest News

The concerns about the novel influenza H1N1 has created a higher demand for season flu shots, some area health care professionals say they have noticed.

Back | Next
Walgreens pharmicst Susan Dougherty (left) administers a flu shot to Gary Ikens at the pharmacy in Aiken, S.C. October 7, 2009.  Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Walgreens pharmicst Susan Dougherty (left) administers a flu shot to Gary Ikens at the pharmacy in Aiken, S.C. October 7, 2009.

That demand, in some cases, is surpassing the number of doses available.

The Richmond County Health Department ran out of seasonal flu vaccines less than two weeks after administering the first dose, said Teresa A. Catlett, clinical nursing director for Richmond County Health Department.

The department doled out 1,500 shots since the flu clinics opened on Sept. 21, Ms. Catlip said.

“Our demand has tripled this year compared to last year,” she said. “Most people would not have received the shot until mid-October, but they are starting early this year.”

In some cases, patients are experiencing flu-like symptoms earlier this season, but much of the demand has to do with a greater awareness of the virus, said Terrence Cook, an Augusta physician. The Georgia Division of Public Health has distributed the vaccine slowly and sparingly over the last couple of months in spite of the high demand, Dr. Cook said.

“They have sent a few bottles here, and a few bottles there,” he said. “It’s very unnerving.”

Dr. Cook’s office has administered 200 flu shots since late August, and was out of the vaccine for two weeks. About 100 doses were delivered today, but he said he is still concerned about a sufficient amount of the vaccine being available.

“We thought we’d be safe by ordering a significant quantity, but we’re not receiving nearly enough for our patients that we see.”

The rush to create and distribute the H1N1 vaccine has put a delay on producing the seasonal flu vaccine, Ms. Catlip said. Though patients are concerned about H1N1, the demand for the seasonal flu vaccine still exists. Ms. Catlip said she is unsure of when the state will deliver additional doses to the Augusta area.

“We’ve got 15 to 20 businesses on a waiting list to get flu shots,” she said. “We have no idea when will be able to give them out again.”

Walgreens on Whiskey Road in Aiken had only 20 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine left Wednesday, said pharmacist Susan Dougherty. A shipment would soon be on the way, she said. The drug store has administered more than 1,200 flu shots since Sept. 1.

“We give out about 50 to 60 shots per day,” Mrs. Dougherty said. “The response has been overwhelming this year versus last year.”

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
soldout 10/07/09 - 05:19 pm
Does anyone know if this is

Does anyone know if this is in the package insert when you are given the flu shot:" FLULAVAL is an influenza virus vaccine indicated for active immunization of adults 18 years of age and older against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine. This indication is based on immune response elicited by FLULAVAL, and there have been no controlled trials demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLULAVAL.”

Does it also state that each dose contains a total of 25 mcg of mercury.

msitua 10/07/09 - 06:38 pm
Pathetic, isn't it? How the

Pathetic, isn't it? How the American public has been sold out by the big pharma and politicians who couldn't care less about their health. Studies show that 5 years in a row on the seasonal flu vaccine with all that aluminum they have(not to mention the mercury) will make that person 3 times more likely to develop Alzheimers disease. When will people learn?

mad_max 10/07/09 - 07:29 pm
Well, I found several nutcase

Well, I found several nutcase sites that make the same claim about flu vaccine and alztheimers.....none of them medical sites. And they all qoute the same study cited by Dr. Fudenberg done between 1970 - 1980. I found no MEDICAL sites that currently make that claim and no government sites. So, I would be interested in some links to multiple "studies" other than the one cited by a biologist, Dr. Fudenberg that back up your claim. You may be reading too much PANIC SPAM email. So, don't take your flu shot, it will give you Alzheimers....don't turn on your computer on April Fool's Day because a virus will eat your hard drive, and never put your ATM card in a machine because someone has modified all of them to steal your card number and PIN. OBTW, apparently flu vaccine DOES NOT contain aluminum.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs