Metro suffers from flu shot shortage

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Some people around the metro are reporting difficulty finding flu shots at their neighborhood drug stores.

Retailers like CVS have run out of flu shots this week at some of its metro area stores.

At the Johnson County Health Clinic flu shots are still available.

Public health clinics in Johnson County and in Kansas City, Mo., still have flu shots, and they say it's not too late to get one, even as the number of reported flu cases is climbing around the metro area.

At Johnson County's walk-in clinics in Olathe and Mission, flu shots are available for $30. And for the first time they'll even take some types of health insurance to cover it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim healthy people are less likely to get vaccinated, but so far more likely to be hospitalized from the flu this season.

Related: Flu-related illness kills five in Kansas City metro

Despite the difficulty some are having in finding flu shots, a recently released report shows both Missouri and Kansas have pretty low vaccination rates.

"You might have to do a little more digging this year because of the publicity and number of flu cases that have increased within the last two or three weeks," said Nancy Tausz, Disease Containment Division Director for the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. "More people are trying to access the vaccine. It might not be available the first place you look, but just keep going to another place."

If you are having trouble finding a flu shot, public health agencies say there are some preventative actions you can take to slow the spread of flu.

If you or your loved ones develop flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever has disappeared without the aid of medication

People with the flu can infect others beginning one day before symptoms start and lasting five to seven days after becoming sick.

Health professionals agree the best prevention measure is to get the flu vaccine, while it's available.

For help in finding a flu shot, you can go online to flu.gov and then click on prevention and vaccinations.

Punch in your zip code and you will get a list of pharmacies that still have the flu vaccine.

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