Flu vaccine still widely available in central Indiana
The number of flu-related deaths in Indiana went from 10 to 15 in just one day.
Health officials continue encouraging everyone to get a flu shot during this worsening severe flu season. The good news is more people are.
Lisa Lowery, an RN Visiting Nurse Service at St. Francis said since Monday "the phones have been ringing off the hook."
Lowery spent most of Thursday doing back-to-back flu shots, not just for adults, but a number of children.
Eight-year-old Heather Wright came in with her parents and three-year-old brother, Nicholas to get shots.
"Just so I don't catch the flu, cause I know I would get sick and miss a lot of school," she said.
Her mom, Cynthia Wright, was glad to get everyone vaccinated, especially given the seriousness of this year's outbreak.
"I tried for a month but because we've been sick on and off we had to wait. This is the first time everyone is healthy, so I made the appointments to get everyone in this week," Wright said.
While the surge in demand has left some parts of the country short on vaccine, Eyewitness News found widespread availability in central Indiana. Walgreens, CVS, Marsh and Kroger all reported ample supplies. Still, the retailers suggested calling before heading out the door as some of the busier locations may run out temporarily.
A good resource provided through the Indiana State Department of Health is the health map vaccine finder. You enter your address or zip code and it lists all the nearby sites offering flu vaccinations, their hours of operation and the types of vaccinations available, ranging from the traditional and high-dose flu shot to the intradermal shot and flu nasal spray
Lowery emphasized, "you need to know what you want before you call that particular place, noting that the flu mist isn't available everywhere."
"The other big thing is whether the vaccine contains preservatives. That's where you'll have trouble, too, finding places with preservative-free vaccines this time of year," she added.
Cynthia Wright, for instance, wanted the mercury-free vaccine, which VNS has.
Lowery stressed it's not too late to get flu shots and even if you aren't eligible for one, "make sure everyone around you is vaccinated."
Heather Wright had this to offer for children who might be a little worried about getting a shot, "It felt like just a prick. It didn't really hurt and you do it so you don't get hurt getting the flu."