Flu-Shot Seekers Fill Waiting Rooms

Public health centers struggle to meet vaccine demand

By Mola Lenghi
|  Friday, Jan 11, 2013  |  Updated 6:19 PM CDT
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The lines are long and the waiting rooms are full at clinics, doctors' offices and pharmacies as people rush to get vaccinated against the flu.

Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter

The lines are long and the waiting rooms are full at clinics, doctors' offices and pharmacies as people rush to get vaccinated against the flu.

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As the flu season hits epidemic levels, clinics, doctors and pharmacies have been slammed with people looking for vaccinations.

The flu is now widespread in all but three states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The Tarrant County Public Health Center in Arlington has been trying to keep up with demand for flu shots.

"It's very busy," said Rose Mary Bennett with the department. "We've been busy every day."

Sheila Miller waited more than two hours on Friday for this year's flu vaccine

"I got to get flu shots for my daughters," she said. "I called the pharmacy, their primary care physician -- everybody was out."

Waiting rooms were packed, but people said it was small price to pay to avoid this year's flu bug.

"Oh my God, the flu season is horrible," said Patricia Neyor, who works in a hospital emergency room and was getting her daughter a vaccine at the Arlington public health center.

"Babies, kids, old -- it doesn't matter, age has no limit when it comes to the flu," she said. "It's horrible. I think this year is the worst we've ever seen."

"This is a flu that we absolutely do not want to get," said Robert Simons, who received a flu shot Friday. "We have been alarmed by the number of people who have died."

While some are more susceptible to the flu, Bennett said that, ultimately, anyone can get it.

"Everybody needs to get the flu shot this year," she said.

The only states without widespread flu were California, Mississippi and Hawaii, according to the CDC report, which covers the week from Dec. 30 to Jan 5.

However, the number of states reporting a high level of cases was down from the previous week. The CDC said influenza activity could be decreasing in some areas, but the holiday season also could have skewed the data.

Related: Where to Get Flu Shots

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