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Health Experts: Demand For Flu Shots Is Higher Than Expected, So Public Urged To Get One Sooner Rather Than Later

LARCHMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Health experts are urging you to get a flu shot, and get it early.

Demand is already high and there's concern supplies may grow tight, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Wednesday.

FLASHBACK: Facing Threat Of Second COVID-19 Wave, Experts Say Get Your Flu Shot As Soon As You Can

A quick visit to her local Stop & Shop for a flu shot is an annual autumnal event for Margaret Vivolo, although she usually gets it closer to Halloween.

"I got it earlier this year because we don't know what's down the road, and I'd rather have this already in me rather than wait until something else hits me," said Vivolo, who lives in Larchmont.

Especially if that something else is coronavirus.

"People really need to consider the implications if they were to get both COVID and influenza at the same time. I can't imagine what that would be like. Hopefully by getting the vaccine we can prevent at least the influenza part of this equation," Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said.


In preparing for the flu season, Stop & Shop did its market research and anticipated a 35% increase in demand for the influenza vaccine, but that projection ended up being off.

"We have seen a bump, total Stop & Shop, 157% over last year," Stop & Shop pharmacy district manager Lina Boiano said.

Boiano said demand like that means it's best to get a shot as soon as possible.

"People are interested. Our patients are definitely coming into the stores, getting their flu shots. We do anticipate that, potentially, flu shots will run out," Boiano said, adding when asked if one reason could be because supplies could tighten, "Absolutely."

MOREDoctors: Flu Shots A Must This Fall To Help Avoid Potential Twindemic

Mayor Noam Bramson said he expects demand to be particularly high in New Rochelle.

"We want to make sure our healthcare system doesn't get overwhelmed this fall," Bramson said. "We were the epicenter of the COVID-19 breakout back in March and so this community understands the stakes better than almost any in America."

Seniors should check if the high-dose formulation is appropriate for them. The vaccine is never 100% effective, but usually lessens the severity of symptoms if you do come down with the flu.

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