20 Aug 2014
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Suddenly, Flu Shot Vaccine Scarce

Every pharmacy is reporting that the vaccine is in short supply right now as the flu season winds down; call before you stop by anywhere for a flu shot.

Suddenly, Flu Shot Vaccine Scarce

Thinking about getting a flu shot even as the season winds down? Forget about it at least for a few days – especially if you are under age 65. 

Pharmacies in East Providence are hard-pressed to put their hands on the vaccine right now. A recent glut of people responding to appeals to get the shot even as the flu season winds down is the reason.

Increased demand that most pharmacies did not anticipate is causing the shortage, said a CVS pharmacy manager in East Providence.  People get their shots early in the flu season -- not usually as the season winds down.

Michael DeAngelis, a spokesman in corporate communications at the CVS headquarters in Woonsocket, said in an email:

"Due to high demand caused by the outbreaks of influenza across the country, some of our locations are experiencing sporadic shortages of flu vaccine. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have been providing flu shots since early fall, and the current high demand is unprecedented for this time of year. We are making every effort to resupply our pharmacies and clinics with vaccine as needed." 

All of the local pharmacies have reordered the flu shot vaccine; most expect to get a fresh supply in a few days, probably on Thursday or Friday.

Even then, people under age 65 might have to wait in line at Rite-Aid pharmacies. No one under that age in East Providencewas was being given a flu shot on Monday.

Every pharmacy manager suggests calling the drug store before you stop by for a flu shot.

"We haven’t been able to keep up with the demand,” said another pharmacy manager.

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