After 700 people lined up for flu shots on Saturday, the Polk County Health Department, the state’s largest, is now out of the shots. Many Iowa communities, large and small, are running low or they’re already out of the flu shots, which state epidemiologist Patty Quinlisk says is a bit alarming.Dr. Quinlisk says people who want the shot need to get it now because it won’t be long before virtually all supplies of the flu vaccine in the state are depleted. She says many states are running into similar shortages. Iowa’s first flu death of the season is confirmed — a 20-month-old Council Bluffs girl died last week. Quinlisk says it is -not- uncommon for the flu to kill people in Iowa but she says this time, the flu is striking earlier and harder. She says up to one-thousand people die every year from influenza in Iowa, but those cases are usually in the elderly or people with other health problems — but not usually children. Dozens of schools across Iowa report heavy absences due to the flu — one middle school in Urbandale reported 135 students out sick yesterday — one-third of the student body. Quinlisk says we’re only in the second week of December which is when the first cases of flu are usually confirmed, though it’s already reached serious proportions.
You are here: / / Lack of flu shots worries State Epidemiologist