Doctors running into flu vaccine shortage - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Doctors running into flu vaccine shortage

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INDIANAPOLIS -

The demand for flu shots is rising as people deal with one of the most severe flu seasons in recent history.

Hundreds of people in Indianapolis are going to emergency rooms with the flu. Ten people in Indiana have died this flu season alone and now doctors are running low on their supply of vaccine.

Seven-year-old Donovan of Greenwood knew full well what he was walking into Wednesday, his first flu shot in the arm. He didn't feel so lucky, but he will thank nurse Janie Patterson later. Donovan's pediatrician, Dr. Jeremy Roscoe, planned ahead and had plenty of the seasonal flu vaccine on hand for all his patients.

In 29 states, flu levels are high. Boston's mayor has declared a flu emergency, an Allentown, Pennsylvania hospital has set up tents outside the emergency room to isolate patients from the flu.

Roscoe says many times, patients confuse the symptoms of seasonal flu and a stomach virus.

"The symptoms of any flu that we are talking about are more respiratory. Everyone always thinks it is the stomach flu and throwing up and that can come along with it, (but) it is mostly high fever, achy, your whole body aches and hurts and usually comes with a lot of cough and wheezing and hard to breathe. It makes you feel the worst you have ever felt," Roscoe said.

So far, none of Roscoe's patients have tested positive for this year's seasonal flu.

Gavin Cloyd's mother brought him in specifically for the vaccine. She says her other children and husband have all been vaccinated, so while she was in the doctor's office, "I wasn't going to do it, but with the news...I'm here."

Most of the large central Indiana hospitals are reporting they have plenty of flu vaccine on hand, as do most of the walk-in clinics and doctor's offices that offer the vaccine.

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