Clinics See Flu Vaccine Rush

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EUGENE, Ore. — With flu shots scarce at pharmacies in Lane County, we learned, some urgent cares seem to be the only places with a good supply.

The four urgent cares in our area are seeing an influx in people lining up for the flu shot.

We began reporting Thursday night that the urgent cares had about 1,600 doses they were dispersing among their four locations. Since then, the waiting rooms have seen a steady stream of people trying to prevent themselves from what some doctors are calling a very nasty strain of the flu.

“I went to the CVS and they’re all out,” said Eugene resident Colleen Curry.

Curry is like many in Lane County looking for protection from the flu–a flu that’s sweeping the nation.

“My grandfather just got out of the hospital. He got the flu and it turned into pneumonia. He got really, really sick,” Curry said.

It only took seconds for her to get some piece of mind.

“The flu shots have been really crazy here, I think partly because of the news and partly because of the epidemic,” said Mitch Boriskin, Family Nurse Practicioner.

We learned Thursday there were only about 500 doses left available among the Springfield and Eugene pharmacies and getting that vaccine is a gamble to begin with.

“I often do that guessing, and I guessed very poorly last year and it cost us thousands of dollars, so this was a better guess this year perhaps. You really can’t predict,” Boriskin said.

His guess landed the urgent cares about 2,000 doses that now are helping the community deal with this shortage.

“This year there’s been fear, there’s been real cases, and it’s bad. It’s H3N2, very bad strain, and oh boy there have been some sick people telling their friends to go get a flu shot. I assume that’s what’s going on,” Boriskin said.

You can get the shot at the Thurston, Patterson and Eugene Urgent Care, along with the Junction City Medical Clinic. It is also offering the pediatric vaccine.

“We’ll probably run out in a couple of weeks, but by then it really should be the end of the season for the immunization,” Boriskin said.

Hopefully by then this bug will have run its course.

The shot costs $20, or you can try to have your insurance pay.

Lane County Health late Friday afternoon said the flu is still listed as moderate in Oregon but that the cases are still rising in the county.

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