Doctors, pharmacies struggling to keep up with flu shot demand

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 21 at 7:33 PM

PHOENIX -- It's a fact - nothing makes people want to get a flu shot like the flu itself. Which is why demand for it is off the charts!

"When the flu really starts to ramp up, people start thinking about getting their flu vaccine. But we're kind of late in the vaccination season, it's becoming more and more difficult for people to actually find the flu vaccine," said Will Humble, Director of Arizona's Department of Health.

We heard that from several of you, so we made some calls. First to a major chain pharmacy, which did have some available.

When we called a smaller local pharmacy they only had one left, and told us to call back tomorrow. Finally, at a Phoenix doctor's office, they told us they were completely out.

So yes, there are shortages of the flu shot, but they're spotty.

At Sunwest Pharmacy in Phoenix, Dr. Chase Weston only had two partially full vials left!

"Each vial has five doses, so I have a couple doses left in each vial," he said.

The Doctor says whether or not your doctor or pharmacy has it depends on where they're ordering from.

"The reason I'm able to get it is because I order from multiple wholesalers, and smaller wholesalers," he said. "Whereas the larger chain stores, they only order from one wholesaler and their orders are done automatically."

That means if your regular place is out, you can either wait a day or two for the next shipment of vaccines or call around. Also, keep in mind you're probably one of dozens trying to track it down.

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