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Old 09-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #1

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Is there really a "nationwide shortage" of regular seasonal flu serum????

Is there really a "nationwide shortage" of the regular (not H1N1) flu serum???


My doctor's office is claiming that there's a nationwide shortage of the seasonal flu serum. Is this true? Have any of you heard this??

Our pediatrician's office has the serum, so DS21 will be getting his vaccine on October 24th. He has asthma, and they actually called our house to set the appointment. So he's all set.

However, DS18, DH, and I all see a different doctor, and that's the office that's claiming that they're unable to get the serum.

We ALWAYS get the flu shot, every year. Our medical insurance has always covered it 100%. The doctor's office suggested that we try getting the flu shot at a pharmacy. I believe the signs say they cost $25.00. Not a lot of money, but $25. X 3 = $75. I will gladly pay this if need be, but I'm just really surprised that ALREADY our doctor's office is claiming to be out of serum, with none on the horizon...
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #2
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I'm getting my flu shot at work on Thursday. Its just about my only employer provided benefit - once a year they pay for a medical service to come in and provide us with flu shots. If there were a shortage I wouldn't think that they would be doing clinics like that where there is no screening for high risk people.

I could go to my doctor since I am high risk and in the priority group but then I would have the $20 co-pay for the office visit. I'll have to pay it for the swine flu vaccine most likely so I don't want to have to go twice.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #3
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I can't imagine that this is accurate information you are getting, Walgreens is advertising that they will always have on hand at all locations every day. Doesn't sound like a shortage to anyone other than your dr's office, maybe the cost went up and his office doesn't want to stock?
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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I called our doctor this morning to set up an appointment for flu shots. Me, husband, and son will be getting ours next week, they are booked for this week. They only do flu shots on Tues., Wed., and Thurs. from 12:00 - 12:30 pm at this office. Doesn't seem like a shortage here.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:25 PM   #5
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My doctor stopped offering flu shots a few years ago. I got mine today at a Walgreens.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:38 PM   #6
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My Drs office has it. I have an appt. on Wednesday for myself, and my 2 boys. Now my oldest DS woke up with a fever today. I'm hoping he gets better, and they won't refuse him the shot on Wednesday.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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At our pediatrician's office, they've stopped giving the flu shot and instead contract it out to the local Visiting Nurses Association. They say this is to make sure that they have enough shots for everyone, but I suspect that having shot clinics that are offsite allows the peds office to concentrate on providing care to their patients instead of dealing with shots.

Mine and DH's Drs. office does offer flu shots, but when I called to schedule mine, the receptionist tried to talk me out of it which made no sense to me at all. I did end up getting my shot with no problems but thought the receptionist's response was odd.

With two young kids with asthma, we've all gotten flu shots for the last several years.

Now, our GP is NOT going to be offering the H1N1 and the peds office still doesn't know if they will be offering it.

My bet would be that your Drs. office has just decided not to offer shots. If they didn't pre-order shots, then the shots would not be available.

In your shoes, I would get the shots at the pharmacy or other shot clinic and then submit the forms to my insurance for reimbursement.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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I received mine this morning at my doctor's office. We are flying to Las Vegas in 2 weeks and I don't want to take any chances catching something on the plane.

I called in advance and made an appointment. Since I was just seeing the nurse, I do not have to pay for an office visit. Sure, I had to wait 20 minutes past my appointment time but it was free!

All the drug stores here are offering it for $25.

No shortage as far as I can tell!
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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No problems here either.

My girls have appointments with their ped for FluMist on Oct 7th. I'll be getting mine the first week of October as well. Neither office mentioned anything about a shortage when I called for an appointment.

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Old 09-21-2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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Isn't there every year? It always seems the by mid October there is always a shortage. When they divert regular flu vaccine production to make the swine flu vaccine I would think that might be a reason. I know it was a concern earlier but I am not certain.

Whole family was done Saturday morning.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #11
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I called Walgreens today to make an appointment and they said they were running low and to just walk in rather than make an appointment so I went and got one around noon.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
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I think your doctor is tired of losing money on the shots!

I have not heard anything of a shortage this year. Perhaps an overabundance. Every place around here has them. Costco is $20.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:34 PM   #13
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I want to get it at the pharmacy near me, but they want a prescription. The woman who works the front office at my family doctor is a total twit. She always has been, but I love my doctor, so I put up with it (I have a PPO and I see him, maybe, once every 2yrs, but my mother did his billing since I was 15, so they've known me forever).

Today, she told me 1. no flu shot for me (with no explanation); 2. no appointments available (ever?); and 3. no, she wouldn't ask him if he'd call in to the pharmacy near me so I can get the shot.

The next words out of my mouth were to ask her to send the form to release my records. After 10yrs, I'm finished begging her for things.

The Walgreen's near me said they had plenty, but they're requiring a prescription. I have an appt with my OB in a few weeks and, when I talked to the nurse today, she said she'd see how they were as far as supplies and try and slip me one. Obviously, their pregnant patients get 1st priority, so it's not a guarantee.

Guess I'll have to take my chances. The older girls will get theirs. My youngest is too young. My H will likely bring it home, he'll recover in 10hrs like he always does from every illness, and I'll end up bedridden with 3 kids 2 and under to care for. Good times!
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:35 PM   #14
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PS: Kroger has always accepted our insurance for flu shots when we didn't get them at the PCP.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:23 PM   #15
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I have a doctor appointment coming up very soon, but when I made the appointment I forgot to ask if they have the regular flu vaccine available.. I'll have to call and check on it tomorrow and if not, I'll likely put my visit on hold until they do have it..

My office co-pay is $20 and the shot is covered 100% because I'm high risk, so I would rather get it at the office..
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