Deanne Stein, News 9
CHICKASHA, Oklahoma -- A sharp increase in the number of confirmed flu cases across Oklahoma has many people looking to get vaccinated. So much so, some people are having trouble finding it.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday that six people died in the past week as a result of the flu to bring the total number of deaths this flu season to eight. The department also says the number of flu-related hospitalizations more than doubled, from 171 last week to 345.
The Health Department says there is not a shortage of the vaccine in Oklahoma, but some pharmacies have exhausted its supplies and waiting for more.
Namona Brown in Chickasha says her husband searched high and low for the past three days trying to get the flu vaccine.
"He went to every medical clinic here in Chickasha, even went to the emergency room, went to Quick Care, Walgreens, CVS," Brown said. "There was nothing. Grady County was completely out."
According to the Centers for disease control, manufacturers projected that they would produce about 135 million doses of flu vaccine this season. As of January 4, more than 128 million doses had been distributed. And many vaccine providers have already run out.
"Once it went epidemic, everybody went running," Brown said. "Everybody got scared."
Luckily, Brown herself got the flu shot, having COPD, a lung disease, she doesn't take a chance. Now that her husband may not get the vaccine, she says she'll just keep doing what she can to stay safe.
"I'm constantly wiping down doorknobs, the wall, even where I think my husband might have touched," she said. "I'm literally scared. I won't even go out. I need groceries for my home. No, I'm not going."
CVS In Chickasha tells News 9 they gave out roughly 125 vaccines last week, using up its supply and unsure if they will get anymore. Walgreens in Chickasha is hoping to get another shipment this week.
You just have to keep checking back until the vaccines are available.
Check the CDC's Flu Vaccine Locator for a pharmacy or clinic near you. Be sure and call the location, though, before heading out to make sure the vaccine is available.