The Flu Shot Crunch in the Capital City

A flu shot frenzy is underway in Tallahassee as seniors struggle to get the vaccine in the midst of a nationwide shortage.

A flu shot clinic at Publix grocery store Friday morning brought hundreds of seniors out before dawn, and with 200 vaccines available, many of them had to be turned away. Some arrived as early as 5 a.m., and five hours later many of them were still in line, including 84-year-old Ruth Cox.

Ruth says, "I'm just not a waiting in line person, but I will for this flu shot because this would have been the one I needed."

Frances Cox, waiting with her mother, said, "It's crazy that we finally have something that can prevent an illness and now they can't even get it. It's sad.”

The first 200 people in line were lucky enough to get tickets, but hundreds more were sent home.

Harold Odom, who was sent home without a flu shot, says, "Wham-o. No flu shots. We'll just roll the dice if we don't get one tomorrow."

Those in line came in wheelchairs, some with oxygen tanks in tow because their doctors don't have any of the coveted vaccines.

The flu vaccine is in especially short supply this year after one of the two main suppliers shut down its plant in Great Britain. While federal health officials try to get to the bottom of that, seniors are forced to wait in long lines.

“They can put a man on the moon,” one woman said, “but we can't get flu shots.”


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