As the flu spreads across the country, this year's flu season looks like it might be particularly potent, especially after last year's unusually mild one.
At least 41 states are reporting widespread flu cases weeks ahead of the usual peak flu season, and more people are going to the hospital due to the illness.
As people rush to get their flu shot to try to ward off the virus, reports of vaccine shortages in some location are beginning to circulate. According to CNN, though, vaccine manufacturers say there is plenty of vaccine for those who want to get a flu shot.
So how are local pharmacies handling the sudden surge of flu vaccinations? The KLTV.com web staff checked with several pharmacies in the area to check on their stock of flu vaccine, and the results were generally positive.
Kinsey Pharmacy, on Kinsey Drive in Tyler, reports having between 70 and 80 vaccines left for the season. However, they are unable to order any more stock.
Target Pharmacy, on South Broadway in Tyler, only has six intramusuclar shots left, but an abundance of the intradermal vaccine left. They are out of Tamiflu, though, and suggested going to the Target Pharmacy in Longview to get the drug.
Good's Medicine Chest, on Houston Street in Tyler, has over 100 vaccines left and are confident they can get more if needed.
The Walgreens on East Southeast Loop 323 only has ten shots and are unable to get more
The North East Texas Health District has 110 vaccines for adults and 150 for children.
CVS Pharmacy, at 119 West Marshall Ave in Longview, is out of stock, but they have reordered with no issue.
Louis Morgan Pharmacy, at 1900 High Street in Longview, has 70 doses and are able to order more as needed
Gregg County Health Department only gives flu shots to children. They have 15 in stock for children, ages 5-35 months. Next Wednesday, they will have plenty available for children of all ages.
The flu usually peaks in midwinter. Symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, headache and body aches and fatigues. More severe conditions, such as pneumonia, may also develop.
To limit your chances of getting the flu, make sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand rub), and try to avoid close contact with sick people.
A recent CDC study shows that this year's vaccine is about 62 percent effective, which is in line with the effectiveness of the vaccine in previous years.
The vaccine is reformulated each year, based on experts' best guess of which strains of the virus will predominate. This year's vaccine is well-matched to what's going around. The government estimates that between a third and half of Americans have gotten the vaccine.
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