Local pharmacies running out of flu vaccines, some still stocked

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s been one of the most severe flu seasons in years and now comes concerns that some locations are running out of flu shots.

It’s a concern many viewers have brought to NEWS10 ABC’s attention.

Some places, like CVS still have flu shots available, but others like Rite Aid are all out.

Terry Plante never thought it would come to this.

“I guess my first mistake is I waited too long,” Plante said.

He usually gets his flu shot in the fall, but this year he had a physical scheduled in January. So, he figured he’d just wait until then. The only issue was when he showed up, the doctor was fresh out.

“Similar problem when I went to my pharmacy and a couple of other pharmacies. Everybody had run out and weren’t expecting anymore and said I don’t expect you’ll find any,” Plante said.

Now he’s left scrambling and he’s not alone.

“It’s more severe than it has been in many, many years,” said James Monahan.

Monahan is a pharmacist and the owner at Thorpe’s Health Mart Pharmacy in Hoosick Falls.

He’s seen the concern from customers first hand.

“Well, we’re really rural but there’s a lot of small towns and villages around us that have nothing,” Monahan said.

He says many pharmacies this late into the season run out, even on normal years, but increased worries means places are drying up sooner than usual.

Once you’re out, you’re out until next season.

“Either you’ve had it from buying it in the summer time or the early fall, or you’re out of it,” Monahan said.

Thorpe’s still has some left, but there’s no guarantees they’ll last.

So what can people do in the meantime?

Monahan suggests calling around. You’re local pharmacy may be out, but others aren’t. It could require making a trip to another town, but he says it’s worth it.

“Most people just want their flu shot. Want to be proctected,” Monahan said. “Be smart, don’t be tough.”

Now disputes exist over some of these pharmacies running out of flu shots, the Department of Health says there is no national shortage of vaccines.

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