Busy Flu Season Clears Pharmacy Shelves 12/30/13
December 30, 2013
Odessa - The Flu season has hit the Permian Basin and is now leaving some pharmacies with empty shelves. Officials say this season had a slow start, but the worst is yet to come. In Odessa, dozens of people stood in line at Walgreen’s, most looking for a relief to the flu symptoms.
“It’s obviously pretty bad, I know a lot of people have been down for several weeks with it,” said one Walgreen’s customer.
This year, officials say the flu snuck up on them, hitting the vast majority of patients just last week. “It jumped faster, it was a little bit more gradual in build last year and like I said it did hit a little bit later. But that jump was pretty quick,” said Ector County Health Department official Amanda Robison-Chadwell.
The quick jump forced pharmacist to work double-time, filling orders and giving shots.
“I was just in the store, and there’s like 30 people on one isle all looking for meds. So it’s kind of crazy, it’s kind of scary actually, makes me want to go home and stay indoors,” said Odessa Resident Eden Navarro.
Pharmacies in both Midland and Odessa have reported to be running low, or in some cases running out of flu vaccines. But now that we are already in the busy flu season is it even worth it to take the shot? “Get the vaccine at any point of the flu season, because it’s better to get it than it is not to get it. If more people have a vaccine it’s going to protect the majority of the population,” said Chadwell.
If you are looking to get the vaccine, officials are saying the flu season will hit the hardest in January. So if you need a shot, call the pharmacy ahead of time to make sure they are in stock.