Several pharmacies on Aquidneck Island are running out of flu vaccines as demand increases.
Both Rite Aid pharmacies in Portsmouth are currently out of stock. The last vaccine was administered just after noon on Monday.
Another shipment is expected on Wednesday, according to a Rite Aid pharmacy representative.
Walgreens in Middletown and CVS locations in Newport and Middletown were also out of stock.
Despite the reported outages, you can still get a flu short through the Rhode Island Department of Health. There is no cost for a vaccination and health insurance is not required. Many clinics also offer Tdap (pertussis, or "whooping cough") and pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccinations.
Upcoming community clinics across the state:
|1/15/2013||East Greenwich||Archie R. Cole Middle School||100 Cedar Avenue||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/15/2013||Pawtucket||Joseph Jenks Junior High School||350 Division Street||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/15/2013||Exeter/West Greenwich||Metcalf School||30 Nooseneck Hill Road, Exeter||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/16/2013||North Kingstown||North Kingstown High School||150 Fairway Drive||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/16/2013||Cranston||Western Hills Middle School||400 Phenix Avenue||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/16/2013||East Providence||East Providence High School||2000 Pawtucket Avenue||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/17/2013||Bristol/Warren||Mt. Hope High School||199 Chestnut Street, Bristol||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/17/2013||Lincoln||Lincoln Middle School||152 Jenckes Hill Road||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/17/2013||North Smithfield||North Smithfield Middle School||1850 Providence Pike||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/18/2013||Cumberland||Cumberland High School||2600 Mendon Road||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/18/2013||Portsmouth||Portsmouth High School||120 Education Lane||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
|1/18/2013||Scituate||Scituate Middle School||94 Trimtown Road||4:00PM-7:00PM||6 mos.+|
More than one-third of United States residents have already been vaccinated against the influenza virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this month. With National Influenza Vaccination Week, which started last Sunday and ends Saturday, health officials aim to increase that percentage, especially since this year's season may be a bad one.
Influenza—more commonly known as simply "the flu"—is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs. It spreads via infected people coughing, sneezing or talking, though people can also get infected by touching something with the flu virus on it before touching their mouth, eyes or nose.
The 2012-2013 season is shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in a while, officials from the CDC said in a teleconference Monday. There have been a larger number of suspected flu cases than usual in five Southern states, and this year's strain may be more virulent. Already, two children have died of the illness.