Flu and Vaccinations on the Rise

Maureen Wurtz

OMAHA (KPTM)- Two people from Nebraska are dead and victims of the flu, and now a ten year old Omaha boy might be the third.

It's hitting all over the country. The CDC said we're dealing with a full-blown flu epidemic because the flu is in 47 states.

The CDC said states could see some ebb and flow in cases in the weeks to come.

In fact, some states, especially in the south might actually be seeing a decrease.

Despite that, many parts of the country, patients are flooding hospitals and the flu is emptying schools.

Sadly, 20 children have died this flu season, including one in Lancaster County in the past week.

There have been two deaths in Nebraska this season, both in Lancaster County; one two-year-old boy and a man in his 60s. Neither was vaccinated.

There have been more than 2,000 flu cases statewide, and 557 in Douglas County.

County cases are the highest since the flu pandemic of 2009 and 2010.

Doctors urge if you haven't yet, get a flu shot. It's good for anyone six months or older.

Even though some health departments nationwide are reporting shortages of the vaccine, the state and Douglas County health departments are not reporting any issues.

Some local pharmacies are having trouble keeping up with demand while nurses are dishing out doses.

It's a shot people aren't afraid to get.

"Nobody really likes you enough to see you if you're bringing them influenza," said Cindy Ruma.

Ruma is part of the 'Visiting Nurse Association.' She has been visiting companies all around the metro. She said October is normally the busiest time, but not this flu season. "Companies have called and said, 'We have 300 people, can you come tomorrow at nine?'"

Brandon Jones got his first ever flu shot from Ruma. "Figured flu vaccinations are in a shortage right now, so I might as well get it over with and protect myself for the future."

"It's the good ole fashioned flu, and when it hits, it hits hard, and its here," said Jim Quinley, with Kubats Pharmacy.

The flu may be here, and so were dozens of people getting shots at Kubats Friday.

"The busy time is about October/November and about after Christmas, you give about one a week. The last week, we've been giving 30, 40, 50 shots every day," said Quinley.

Quinley supplies local doctors offices with the vaccine. He said it's becoming harder to manage the demand.

"So everybody's been ordering one vial at a time," said Quinley. "I've been ordering two or three at a time, and finally I just gave up and ordered thirty the other day."

"People have come in and said this is the first time they've gotten the shot in ten years," said Quinley.

To find out a place close to you, go to and enter your zip code.

There will be a list of places offering shots right by your home.

"The flu epidemic is just starting," said Quinley.

A flu clinic will be held Saturday at the 'Visiting Nurse Association' office at

12465 West Center Road.

Shots will be given from 10 AM- 1 PM.

The flu vaccine will cost $25 and the FluMist will cost $30.