Flu shot gets scarce as cases grow more common

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS -

The flu vaccine is getting harder to find as the sickness spreads and New Yorkers rush to get their injections.

The state says 11,000 flu cases were reported in just the past week. That's out of almost 37,000 altogether, 9,000 of which involved hospitalizations. At least one child died.

"As long as the flu is circulating out there, it's worth it to get the vaccine," says Dr. Sheila Nolan, of Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.

The problem is finding it.

Merk Chemists, the oldest pharmacy in Westchester, has seen its share of flu cases for more than a century, according to owner Anthony Mangiaracina.

Merk has been immunizing at least 10 patients a day, Mangiaracina says, and supplies are running low.

"I had 50 doses, which is my average for the flu season, and I way surpassed that," he says. He's currently waiting on another shipment. "They told me a couple of weeks, probably. Fingers crossed."

At the CVS on Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers, only people over 65 years old can get the vaccine. The Walgreens across the street says its supply is running low.

"When it hits, it hits hard," Mangiaracina says.

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