Flu season hitting Oregon, vaccines selling out


by KGW staff


Posted on January 11, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 12 at 11:34 AM

PORTLAND -- The flu has reached epidemic levels in the U.S., but there are now signs that the flu season is peaking in some areas.

The Centers for Disease Control said southern states, where the flu first hit, are reporting fewer cases.

In Oregon, the flu season is just starting, and flu vaccines are selling out.

More: Flu more widespread in US; eases off in some areas

For now, the staff at Bowman's Hillsdale Pharmacy is taking names and numbers of customers and putting them on a waiting list.

Pharmacist Laurie Marx said they were very busy Thursday and ended up selling out of the vaccine.

She's also been getting calls from doctors who've sold out, who were wondering if she had any to spare.

More: Oregon flu vaccine finder

The pharmacy administered 20 flu shots Thursday, and at times, all their chairs were full of people waiting patiently for their shot.

“It was rather hectic. We do flu vaccinations like filling a prescription. If someone has to wait for a vaccination, it's true; we're not the McDonald's of vaccines,” Marx said.

On Thursday KGW mentioned two of the local pharmacies that had run out of vaccine: the downtown Safeway, and the Rite-Aid in the Pearl District.

Those pharmacies were restocked Friday.

Marx said the best bet to get a flu shot is simply to pick up the phone and call ahead.

Interactive: Flu Season

KGW reporter Katherine Cook contributed to this report.