An unusually high demand for flu shots at this time of year is causing sporadic shortages at some Bay Area pharmacies, but many are restocking and people who want to get protection should still be able to do so.
In general, "there is no shortage of vaccine in California and it is not too late to get vaccinated," said Dr. Ron Chapman, the state health officer, in a statement released Friday.
"Our flu season may not peak for several more weeks, so I encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves but those with whom they come into contact," Chapman said.
Amid reports of a more-severe-than-normal flu season on the East Coast, many people are making a last-minute dash for immunizations.
Rite Aid is moving its supply around to meet the demand and is expecting additional shipments of vaccine this week, said spokesman Eric Harkreader.
"Since this is a very fluid situation, we're advising customers to call their local Rite Aid to see if the flu shot is available, so that our team can advise them if it is or let them know when their store's supply will be restocked," Harkreader said Monday.
CVS is urging consumers to keep checking back if their neighborhood store is out because CVS is trying to resupply its pharmacies and clinics as needed, said spokesman Mike DeAngelis.
It takes about two weeks to develop immunity after receiving a flu shot so health experts advise people not delay.
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Sandy Kleffman covers health. Contact her at 510-293-2478. Follow her at Twitter.com/skleffman.