You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Clark County out of adult flu vaccine

Springfield situation is worse than national picture, new information reveals.

As a relentless flu season continues wreak havoc across the country, demand for the flu vaccine has hit a fever pitch, leading to spot shortages and low supplies at some Miami Valley locations.

The Clark County Combined Health District ran out of the adult flu vaccine on Friday, officials said. Meanwhile, local pharmacies and grocery stores that administer the majority of flu vaccines in the area are running low on doses as well, they said.

“We still have a limited number of doses of the pediatric vaccine, but we’re out of the adult vaccine,” said Anita Biles, a spokeswoman for the health department. “We’re getting supplies in from different locations and different suppliers, but we probably won’t have it until Wednesday.”

Biles attributed the supply interruption to a dramatic surge in the numbers of people seeking the vaccine after seeing reports that flu cases were approaching epidemic levels nationwide.

“We’ve been really busy with people coming in for the vaccine, especially since it’s been all over the news,” she said, noting the patients’ concerns were well-founded.

At least 19 flu-related hospitalizations have been reported in Clark County since the beginning of the flu season last October. None were reported last year during the same period.

The Butler County Health Department reported a similar trend in flu-related hospitalizations, which have climbed to 41 so far this year, compared to zero last year, said spokeswoman Jenny Baylor.

The health department has “plenty” of doses of the flu vaccine, Baylor said, but she has heard reports that some retail locations in the area running low.

Ohio Department of Health spokeswoman Tessie Pollock confirmed those reports without giving names, but said it’s not uncommon for drugstores and other retail outlets to run low on vaccine in the middle of the flu season.

“I wouldn’t call it a shortage,” she said. “That implies it isn’t there. It’s there, it just may not be in the building you went too.”

The state has adequate supplies of flu vaccine to meet demand, Pollock said, it just may be harder to find at some locations than others. She advises people to call ahead to make sure the store or health department they visit for a flu shot has the vaccine. Also, she pointed to a national website that lists locations by zip code that have the vaccine:

While no flu vaccine is 100 percent effective, she said, it’s the best protection against the flu, especially in moderate to severe seasons like the one that’s shaping up now.

Ohio flu-related hospitalizations jumped nearly 90 percent in the first week of January, compared to the previous week. And at least two people, including a child, have died from flu-related complications in recent days, according to state and local health departments.

However, overall flu activity — including visits to emergency rooms — declined last week for the first time in two months, offering at least a temporary respite.

Ohio is among 47 states where the flu is considered “widespread,” indicating confirmed cases and increases in flu-like illness in at least half the regions in the state.

But the portion of emergency room visits in which patients exhibited symptoms, such as general weakness, headache and chills, declined last week by 16 percent, according to the latest flu-activity report from the Ohio Health Department.

Still, it’s too soon to say whether the flu season has peaked, according to Dr. Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist.

“We’re still in the midst of this flu season, so it’s really too early to know exactly what our peak is or will be,” she said, noting this flu season hit earlier and harder than in previous years.

There have been 1,922 flu-related hospitalizations in Ohio since the beginning of the flu season. That includes 695 reported last week - up from 368 in the previous week.

By comparison, there were less than 300 hospitalizations in Ohio in the previous two seasons combined.

Hospitalizations were concentrated mainly in the East Central and Northeast regions of the state, which accounted for 231 and 192 hospitalizations, respectively, the state health department reported.

Thirty seven hospitalizations were reported in Southwest Ohio, including 16 in Montgomery County, up from 14 in the previous week.

“We’re holding steady here,” said Bill Wharton, a spokesman for Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. “Hospitalizations are up slightly, but overall cases are down, and we have plenty of vaccine.”

Still, the flu season has been earmarked by tragedy in the local area.

A 22-year-old Greene County woman died earlier this week at Kettering Medical Center of flu-related complications, and the state health department Friday confirmed the first flu-related child death in the state, although officials declined to release further details. The child was not from southwest Ohio.

The Ohio death was one of two deaths in kids from flu or pneumonia last week, bringing the total number of flu-related kids’ deaths to 20 so far this flu season, according to a separate report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Two area health systems named Top 15 in nation
Two area health systems named Top 15 in nation

Kettering Health Network and Mercy Health have been named two of the Top 15 health systems in the nation by the international business research firm Truven Health Analytics. It’s the fifth appearance on the Top 15 list for the Dayton-based Kettering system, comprised of eight hospitals, including Kettering Medical Center, Fort Hamilton, Soin...
Does humidity lead to more home runs in baseball?
Does humidity lead to more home runs in baseball?

Baseball season is well underway and you must admit there is nothing quite like relaxing at a ballpark and watching your favorite team play. But have you ever noticed that on an oppressively humid day, there seem to be more home runs? Perhaps you haven’t paid attention, but if you do attend baseball games regularly, see if you notice. How humid...
Clark County native finds success in costume design, on red carpets
Clark County native finds success in costume design, on red carpets

A 2008 Shawnee High School graduate was recently recognized for career as a costume and fashion designer. Megan Knowles was noted as a distinguished alumni in a Sinclair Community College address on April 17 that for her work that includes designing dresses for red carpet events. Knowles grew up in Clark County. She started designing dresses as a hobby...
Kane Brown makes a huge announcement about his love life
Kane Brown makes a huge announcement about his love life

Back on April 17, rumors began swirling that country star Kane Brown was engaged. Yet, without any sort of official announcement, many wondered if it was just pure hearsay. Well, it looks like we have our proof that this news is very true. In a video posted by a fan on April 18, Kane can be seen at a concert making the big announcement somewhat official...
FRESH IDEAS: Country to city

From The Walrus: “When did we first step out of the wild and into the forever-crowded city? There was a time when all we had was access to nature — we were so inextricably in it and of it. Our ancestors spent their first 2.5 million years operating as nomadic groups that gathered plants where they grew and hunted animals where they grazed...
More Stories