Some parents having problems finding flu shots for children



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Some central Florida parents are finding they can't get flu shots for their young children or babies. Pediatricians across the area appear to be running out of the vaccine.

The Florida Health Department said there is still plenty of vaccine but there are outages in certain areas.

The health department does not track how many pediatricians are out of the vaccine.

Clermont mom Jillian Hook said she has looked everywhere to try to get a flu shot for her 5-year-old son, Eddie, but she can't find one.

It turns out her pediatrician does still have flu shots, but they are part of a federal program that is only for children who are uninsured or underinsured.

Eddie, who has private insurance, does not qualify.

"When I was first given the response that they have the medication and I can't have it, I went into mom mode, 'Are you kidding me? You have this and you can't give it to me?'" said Hook.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the Flu Vaccine Finder website to find the shot where you are.

When WFTV reporter Lori Brown checked and found the only places with the vaccine near Hook's family are pharmacies. But in Florida, pharmacies are not allowed to give the shot to anyone under the age of 18.

Brown checked with other pediatricians and learned that they too are out of the vaccine.

"Pediatric Associates Orlando, we ran out of flu vaccines this week," said Dr. Greg Gordon.

Gordon said flu season still seems far from over.

"I had one poor little girl who caught influenza A, and four weeks later caught influenza B. It is possible to catch it twice this year," said Gordon.

Once flu season is over, any unused vaccine doses have to be thrown away.

Doctors said if your pediatrician is out of the flu shot, you should check with your county's health department. They give shots to all children. Right now there are no shortages at Florida's health department locations.