Is there a flu shot shortage?

HOUSTON - The number of cases of the flu across the country and Texas are going up and millions are scrambling to get a flu shot.

The demand for the flu shot has jumped and some people are having trouble finding somewhere to get one.

"Everywhere is out," Cathy Spanheimer said. "Everywhere we have called, they are out of the shots and they are not getting any more."

Spanheimer said she has had trouble finding somewhere for her 3-year-old son to get the shot.

"Pediatrician was out. Family doctor was out. Got referred to another clinic, but they would not give him the shot because he has insurance," she said.

The Houston Health Department said there may be "spot shortages" of the flu vaccine, but orders are being refilled quickly.

"During the past week we saw a sharp increase in demand for flu shots nationwide. We have had some stores in the Houston area that experienced shortages of supply of vaccine, but most are being resupplied today and will continue to get additional shipments tomorrow and Wednesday," a Walgreen's representative said.

Walgreens officials said that if a store runs out of the shot, the store should get a new supply in a day or two. Target officials said the same thing.

The best thing to do before going out to a pharmacy to get a shot is to call ahead.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this year's vaccine can reduce a person's chances of getting the flu that results in the need for medical attention by 62 percent.

Doctors said it takes about two weeks for the shot to become the most effective.

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