WILKES-BARRE – The city's free flu clinic ran out of its 200 vaccines within one hour Friday, but the state health office came through with an additional 100 doses.
Ted Kross, the city's health director, said he expects more vaccines to be delivered by Tuesday and another clinic will be scheduled by the end of the week. We will definitely need more of the vaccine, he said.
Charlene Wylie and Bolivar Riera brought their two daughters – Courtney, 4, and Alissa, 3 – to have a family flu shot day. The girls were apprehensive about the idea, but they came through fine.
I've heard people have died from the flu, Wylie said. We want to stay in good health.
Kelly Sirak, 24 of Hunlock Creek, was getting her flu shot, too. She was there with her friend, Margarita Thomas, 26 of Kingston, who said she had never received a flu shot and wasn't going to start this year.
I've never had the flu, Thomas said. Maybe if I get it this year I'll consider getting the shot next year.
Sirak's mother works at Geisinger Health System, she said, and told her the flu is really bad this year…She said I should get the shot, Sirak said.
Thomas said she isn't afraid to get the shot, she just doesn't see the need for it.
Joe Urban, 62, of Swoyersville, has gotten the vaccine every year. He said he's without health insurance and he appreciates the city offering a free clinic.
It's great that they have these clinics, he said. The last time I was in the Kirby Health Center I think I was 9 years old.
Kross said the state health department doesn't expect the flu season to peak until March. He said this is the highest number of flu cases he's seen this early in the flu season.
Ted Kross, Wilkes-Barre City's health director, said the state Department of Health has released new statistics on the flu:
• There have been 40 flu-related deaths reported across Pennsylvania
• 144 flu outbreaks have occurred in nursing homes
• 501 flu-related hospitalizations were reported last week
• There have been 16,511 positive lab specimens across the state
• Kross said he is not aware of any reported pediatric deaths caused by the flu