Flu still widespread; vaccine locally scarce - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Flu still widespread; vaccine locally scarce

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GERMANTOWN, Md. -

The latest federal data show that flu-like illnesses remain "high and widespread across the nation," but some indicators are "beginning to show declines."

The incidence of flu-like illnesses in Virginia and Maryland remains "high," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But in D.C., the flu is not quite as common, according to the federal data. Local residents are finding it somewhat difficult to find vaccine.

Health officials in Montgomery County, Md. held a three-hour flu vaccination clinic on Friday. All 200 available doses were requested by county residents.

Patricia Baca, a student at Northwest High School, said she came for a flu shot because "[I've] seen a lot of people at my school, they've been sick. Some of them are missing a week, two weeks. And it's exam week, so it's kind of tough."

Debra Aplan, R.N., who is the nurse administrator for the immunization program in Montgomery County, was glad to see the turnout.

"[People] really need the shot because there are individuals in our communities that do have flu, and we really want to stop the spread of flu," Aplan said in an interview. "And the more people who get vaccinated, the more we'll be able to stop that spread of flu."

A quick telephone survey of four chain pharmacies (and one independent pharmacy) in Maryland, Virginia and the District found only one of them with a robust supply of intramuscular flu vaccine.


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