If you haven't gotten your annual flu shot this season, time may be running out.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a public health emergency in New York due to the increasingly severe flu season, which has reached epidemic levels in the United States this year.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine of the 10 regions of the United States have “elevated” flu activity. New York State falls into one of them.
The declaration now allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations to patients between six months and 18 years of age and suspends for the next 30 days the state’s law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer vaccinations only to people 18 and older.
"We are experiencing the worst flu season since at least 2009, and influenza activity in New York state is widespread, with cases reported in all 57 counties and all five boroughs of New York City," said Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to Reuters.
In New York, the governor's office said 19,128 cases of influenza have been reported this season, compared with 4,404 positive laboratory tests reported for the entire 2011-2012 season.
Cuomo urged residents who had not gotten a flu shot to do so, noting that influenza cases continued to rise in New York.
In the villages of Pleasantville and Briarcliff Manor, just Prescription Plus in the Chilmark Shopping Center reported still having shots available for all as of early Tuesday afternoon—"for now."
And over in Thornwood, Walgreens' automated message states, "At this time, this location has its supply of flu shots for 65 and up. Please give us a call or come in as soon as possible for your vaccination."
Pleasantville Pharmacy has been out of vaccinations for about two weeks now and a man who answered the pharmacy's phone said he believes work is already starting on next year's round of flu shots.
And while Value Drugs in Briarcliff Manor doesn't offer flu shots, Amy told Patch lots of people have been coming in over "the last few days" seeking cold and flu remedies over the counter.
At the CVS located in the Thornwood Shopping Center, a pharmacist said the supply is out, but the store has a request in for a shipment scheduled for later this afternoon.
"It's not a definite that we get them in," she warned, advising people call ahead to confirm first.
Over in Ossining, the Clinton Avenue Walgreens is also out and Alicia at the pharmacy said the store hasn't been told when a new supply is coming in. The Ossining CVS on Route 9 is also out of stock. Further south in Tarrytown, two CVS stores and a Walgreens also report they are without the vaccination.