POSTED: Friday, January 11, 2013 - 5:45pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 11, 2013 - 10:28pm
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — Walgreen’s locations in Baton Rouge say they ran out of flu vaccine yesterday and have turned away hundreds of patients looking to protect themselves from the flu.
In the last couple days, people asked for the vaccine in such large numbers that it overwhelmed local pharmacies.
Walgreen's locations around town will get their next shipment of vaccines on Monday.
Doctors say the flu season hit us earlier than usual, perhaps because of the big changes in weather we had in the second half of 2012.
They've seen lots of people visit their emergency rooms, complaining about the flu.
"The flu season always requires us to gear up, put on added staff and just be prepared for a higher influx of patients," said Dr. James Crowell, chief of emergency medical services for Baton Rouge General.
Flu shots have been available since September, but people chose not to take advantage of them. Instead, only when the flu was declared an epidemic did they finally it would be worthwhile.
A local pharmacist says those patients should carry the blame for their own misery.
"It's a shame that it's taking this long, and so now, when people really want to get it, we don't have the supply that we need," stated pharmacist My Tran.
It is still possible to come down with the flu after you get a vaccine, but pharmacists say the symptoms will be much easier to manage, and the recovery time is a lot quicker.
Flu season generally runs through March, so if you've been putting it off, getting a flu shot is still a smart idea.