Dallas says flu vaccine demand high; Tarrant County confirms fifth death

Free flu shots

Credit: Taka Yokoyama / WFAA

FILE: Collin County health officials closed a free flu shot clinic in Plano hours before it was scheduled to end because of overwhelming demand for the medication.

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by MARCUS MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarcusMoorewfaa

WFAA

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

DALLAS — The Dallas County Health Department says it's not too late to get a flu shot, but finding one may be difficult. 

During a briefing during at the Commissioners Court, representative with the health department said there has been a spike in demand for vaccinations following deaths.

"What we are finding is people are now rushing to get the flu vaccine that should have been in October to get the flu vaccine," said Zachary Thompson, the director for the Dallas County Heath Department. "So, you're searching around when the supply is limited."

Tuesday, officials with Tarrant County confirmed its fifth flu-related death.

In Dallas County, 26 deaths have been linked to the current flu outbreak. The health department also reports 70 people were admitted to hospital ICUs for the flu. 

Despite the difficulty in finding the vaccine, health officials urge residents get shots for themselves and their children.

"We've made ourselves available 10 hours a day, everyday," Thompson said. "Parents take off to go to Six Flags and everything else, so they can take off to go to a location and get a flu shot for their children."

Free flu shots are available at the health department for people who can't afford them or don't have insurance. Health officials said the a majority of the people who have died this year from the flu didn't get shots.

 

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