New Media Producer: Brad Maglinger
Friday, the director of the CDC said it's too early to panic and assume the worst case scenario is going to happen. Still, with news of adults and children dying from the flu, people who'd never even considered getting vaccinated before made it a top priority.
And they paid a price for their procrastination.
With nearly every other clinic in Evansville out of the vaccine, the Visiting Nurse Association expected a crowd when it advertised it had 400 doses left. But few expected this kind of turn out.
"I thought I'd wait a few minutes, it's just a shot in the arm and just go, but not going to happen today," says Patrice Stapleton.
Just five minutes after the clinic opened, 200 people were already in line.
Many couldn't hide their excitement after waiting 40 minutes in those long, stuffy hallways to get into the clinic. And then it was more lines, a line to pay the $18 for the vaccine and another line to get the shot.
Lessons learned this flu season? Don't put it off. And for the Visiting Nurse Association, more advertising for their clinics earlier in the season.
"So that people come out and be vaccinated at any point in time during the window of opportunity, so they are really protected, as you know, for the entire flu season coming up," says Cissy Kraft, from the Visiting Nurse Association.
Because it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, the ideal time to get the shot is in November, before flu season starts in December. Many realize they're at the tail end of that window of opportunity, but, "I'd rather be safe than sorry," Stapleton says.
Many expected a sell out, but after the first hour, the crowd thinned. And three hours later when the clinic closed, the Visiting Nurse Association had 30 doses of the vaccine left. They have another 70 doses at their Princeton location. If you're hoping your name is on one of those few remaining shots, call VNA on Monday to find out how to get one.
The shots are only for people 18 and over.
The FluMist is still available, but that's only for kids over five and adults under 50. For children younger than that, check with your doctor, some have some of the vaccine stashed for high risk patients.