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More Flu Clinics Scheduled As Need Increases

More people are requesting flu shots due to the large number of deaths in the state the past few weeks.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Many local pharmacies and doctor offices are running low on flu shots.

But the Arkansas Department of Health is adding extra clinics as the need for the immunization grows.

And, that need is increasing as the number of flu deaths increase.

Health officials say adding even more concern...young or middle aged people are among the largest group getting the flu and some even died from it.

At Cornerstone Pharmacy -- on Stagecoach Village -- the phone calls about flu shots are steady.

Pharmacist Eric Shelley said, "Now that the deaths have been reported, they're trying to get their flu vaccines and unfortunately, they may be running into the situation where it's harder to find this time of year."

Like many other pharmacies around Little Rock, the flu shot supply is gone at Cornerstone.

Most pharmacists pre-order doses and hold flu clinics before the season starts in January.

That's why they may have run out early.

Health officials say one of the main reasons more people are asking for flu shots is the increase in deaths -- from the illness -- the past few weeks.

In the week of January 5th through January 11th, nine people died from the flu and since September, there have been 25 reported flu deaths in the state of Arkansas.

Local Health Unit Administrator, with the Arkansas Department of Health, Carey Woods said, "Our doors are still open for the flu shots, we've got plenty."

The Arkansas Department of Health added several extra flu clinics this year because of the need and concern.

Woods said, "This is not typical."

Usually, these clinics end in early November, but just this week, more than 360 people got immunized at a clinic in North Little Rock.

Woods said, "You're going to see more and more of these, I believe in the state."

Health officials say it's not too late to get the flu shot, the season typically runs through the spring.

For a list of clinics around the state, click here.

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