20 Aug 2014
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Flu Shot Supply Running Low in Smithtown

Outbreak erodes vaccine stockpiles at corporate pharmacy chains.

Flu Shot Supply Running Low in Smithtown

An especially harsh flu season has caused flu vaccine inventory to run low in many pharmacies.

Whiel the message while on hold at the CVS pharmacy said "flu shots available any day, walk in any time," that wasn't the case Friday. The CVS on Route 25A in Smithtown near the Kings Park border confirmed Friday afternoon that they had run out of the shots 

This could also be said for the Walgreens located at 10 West Main Street in Smithtown, as they confirmed Friday afternoon that ran out this morning

Corey, a lab technician who declined to give his last name, said there are no expectations for the location to get the vaccine back in as the flu season is coming to a close.

A worker at the pharmacy at Rite Aid, located at 65 Route 111 in Smithtown, said Friday that they were in short supply of the vaccine.

"People are still coming in, there's a possibility we might get more but we're just not guaranteed," said a Rite Aid pharmacy employee who declined to provide their name.

Catherine Shannon, a family nurse practioner and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at St. Catherine's Hospital in Smithtown said the hospital was immunizing staff and patients and family members of maternity patients, but not the public.

"We have a lot of the vaccine, but not available to the public at this time," said Shannon. The hospital had a health fair in October and gave free flu and pertussiss immunizations to more than 200 people.

According to Google's map of flu trends across the country, New York is in the grips of  an "intense" flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called this flu season is one of the earliest and most deadly in years,  causing the death of 18 children across the country.

"We are administering more flu shots this season than last. Last season, we administered over 2 million shots. This season, we’ve already administered 4 million shots," DeAngelis said.

A Long Island expert on infectious diseases Thursday urged parents to get their children and themselves vaccinated now.

Additional reporting provided by Kings Park Patch Editor Jennifer Sloat.

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