Getting flu shot a matter of timing
Some people are having a hard time finding flu shots. There's no shortage, but daily allotments can run out.
Health officials say getting the shot may depend on the time of day you try to get it. There are long waits during peak hours - at night and on weekends - and pharmacies are running out of the vaccine.
But the good news is, there are still several pharmacies with plenty of doses still on hand.
Concerned about how severe the flu has been, Angie Davis decided to break her eight-year run of avoiding the vaccine but found that was easier said than done.
"I took my son in to get a flu shot at his pediatrician and they were out," said Davis.
Her doctor sent her to the Dr. Aziz Pharmacy on East 82nd Street, where she and her son opted for the flu mist. Eyewitness News called around and found many doctors, particularly pediatricians are out of the vaccine. That's keeping staff at Dr. Aziz busy working overtime. They're even bringing in extra employees just to keep up with demand.
"We've done almost 150-175 flu shots, flu mist and flu dose, high-dose levels, a day," said Dr. Aziz founder Hamid Abbaspour
It has been tricky for the pharmacy to keep the flu shot in stock.@They're already on their fourth distributor and take it day-by-day.
"We just placed another order. I think we should be okay for this weekend. I don't know what's going to happen next week," said Abbaspour.
He says they have seen many first-timers come in to get vaccinated. They are also able to keep people up to date with other vaccines such as shingles or tetanus during their visit.
Eyewitness News found most pharmacies in the metro area have the vaccine, but not at every location.
"A few of our stores have run out so we are trying to get them supplied as soon as we can," said Walgreens pharmacist Cathy Simmons.
She says, in the meantime, they are shifting vaccines from stores with a surplus to those which have run out.
The other issue has been long waits. Simmons says mornings and mid-afternoons are the best time to get a vaccine without a wait. Flu shots cost anywhere from $25-35 dollars. According to the CDC, 145 million doses of the vaccine were produced. As of January 11, around 129 million doses have been distributed.