Officials encouraged by huge turnout at flu shot clinic, but supplies run low

Collier County health officials say they’re encouraged by the turnout Sunday, as hundreds of people showed up to get vaccinated during one of the worst flu seasons they’ve seen in years.

But to Rebeca Collier, getting vaccinated was a no-brainer. Collier is just one of hundreds who showed up to get flu shots at the Collier County free flu clinic in Immokalee Sunday.

The line stretched out the doors and into the parking lot.

Health officials continue to battle the widespread flu outbreak that’s backing up emergency rooms across Southwest Florida.

“We’re still seeing admissions in the emergency hospital rooms for influenza and influenza like illness increasing,” said Andrea McKinney with the Collier Health Department.

For Collier, it was especially important to get vaccinated this year because she’s pregnant.

“I want the best for my baby and I want it to be healthy even if it’s being prepared so definitely getting the flu vaccine to me is important to the health of my baby and myself,” Collier said.

For others, it’s just a precaution to stay healthy.

Health officials say flu season could last until May or even June, so it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

During Saturday’s clinic in Naples, officials say they ran out of the flu vaccine for children, but had enough for adults who wanted it. A total of 512 flu vaccines were handed out.

At Sunday’s clinic, all of the 255 flu vaccines available were given out by 12:45 p.m. They asked people who came in afterward to come back later in the week when they had more stock available.

More: Flu activity increases across nation, tips to avoid getting sick

Resources:

Influenza tracking map map: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm

Flu shot locator: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html

Reporter:Jessica Alpern
Kristi Gross
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