More than 120 million doses of the vaccine are available, and officials say it prevents illness in about 70 percent of healthy people.
The 19 CVS Minute Clinics in Northern Virginia already have doled out some 30,000 shots, said Anne Pohnert, the state practice manager for Minute Clinics in Virginia.
Ms. Pohnert said she had “personally seen quite a few cases” of the flu along with a “rather nasty cold virus that’s also out there.”
The Minute Clinics vaccinate patients 18 months and older, said Ms. Pohnert, who is also a family nurse practitioner.
“I would say the second two weeks of December we saw a sharp uptick,” Ms. Pohnert said. “Influenza is a reportable disease, and we’ve been reporting quite a number of cases all of a sudden.”
Ms. Folano said Southwest Virginia had reported a greater volume of cases, but the cause of that could be a result of more illness or the population make-up, or it could be that more doctors are reporting flulike illnesses.
Flu season typically runs three or four months, but that “doesn’t mean it can’t last longer than that or be briefer than that, since we started earlier,” Ms. Folano said. “The flu is unpredictable.”
In his December flu forecast, Dr. Frieden mirrored Ms. Folano’s comments, saying this year could shape up to be bad, and because of the uncertainty around the illness, the best thing to do was to get vaccinated.
“Flu is unpredictable. That’s probably the most predictable thing about it,” he said. “It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season, but only time will tell.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
By James A. Lyons
By arming the rebels, we're aiding al Qaeda
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
An establishmentarian conservative, short on cash, but long on wisdom.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal