Flu Shots Still Available at Health District - 8 News NOW

Flu Shots Still Available at Health District

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LAS VEGAS -- The number of flu cases in Nevada have gone up 57 percent from three weeks ago and many patients are rushing to drug stores and pharmacies to get the flu shot, only to find there are no longer any flu vaccines available.

Some drug store locations such as CVS and Walgreens may be running low, but the Southern Nevada Health District said there is no need to worry because it still has plenty of vaccines available.

Without even flinching, young Lincoln Montalvo got his flu shot Monday.

His mother, Kenzy Montalvo, said she wants her son to stay healthy this season, but finding a place that even offered the flu shot was a struggle.

"I called the pharmacies and they were out, I called my pediatrician and they were out and so luckily we found them" at the health district, she said. "We called here and they have 10,000 (vaccines)."

Many drug stores and pharmacies are running low or out of the vaccines.

"Here at the district we have an adequate supply and there is an adequate supply nationwide," said Richard Cichy, of the Southern Nevada Health District. "Some may have to take a pause and restock."

Drug stores, such as Walgreens, said they receive shipments every few days, so calling ahead can help patients find a store with the flu vaccine available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people can prevent catching the flu by following a three-step process: get the flu vaccination, have a healthy lifestyle and if all else fails, ask a doctor to prescribe Tamiflu.

Tamiflu is used hours after you are diagnosed with the flu, to lessen the duration and severity of the influenza virus.

Cichy said that even though that may sound like an instant cure, it comes with side effects and shouldn't be the go-to method of treatment.

"Tamiflu is not a substitute for those first two strategies," he said.

Cichy said it is best to come and get vaccinated against the flu.

Already, the health district has vaccinated nearly 10,000 people.

"I consider it a necessity because of all the viruses that are out there today," said Earl Bitzenburg, who was getting the flu shot.

The health district accepts many forms of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and doesn't turn anyone away if unable to pay.

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