Flu Shot Season

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The Carson City mall was packed...not with shoppers, but with seniors...all waiting patiently to get their flu vaccinations. The average wait in line was an hour and a half, but the actual shot took only seconds.

Most people were simply grateful to receive the vaccination this year and didn't mind the wait.

"We had a nice couple to talk with and the time just went," says Aldo Benedetti of Carson City.

"I was very happy with the experience. Everyone was very friendly. I was surprised they had so many nurses here to give the shots," says Lorraine Hunter also from Carson CIty.

The Carson City vaccination center administered 1400 shots in the first three and a half hours. The goal is 2000, but that probably won't be reached today. But that's not because of the shortage, it's because not enough people are coming out for the shots.

"It's important we hit the people who are sickest and need it the most. Try to keep them out of the hospitals," says Terry Long, a Registered Nurse with Carson Tahoe Hospital.

Nurse Long says the Carson Tahoe hospital received a little more than half of its usual vaccination supply...enough for the at-risk people. But still, the nation's shortage has medical personnel concerned.

"If we end up with a huge epidemic with this year's flu, a lot of people aren't going to be covered. They're going to have to have to take other public health measures: good hand-washing, covering their mouths when they cough and don't go to work when sick."

Nurse Long says people do not need to show up at the crack of dawn to get their shots, and that no elderly or in-need person will be turned away. She does recommend people arrive half way through the session to minimize their wait time.