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Quijano: People very anxious to get vaccines

CNN correspondent Elaine Quijano
CNN correspondent Elaine Quijano

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Elaine Quijano

(CNN) -- A flu outbreak that could reach epidemic proportions has prompted thousands of Americans to wait in long queues for their doses of vaccines, which are rapidly running out.

CNN's Fredricka Whitfield spoke with correspondent Elaine Quijano, reporting from a clinic set up in a Washington supermarket where adults and children were lining up to be vaccinated.

WHITFIELD: Across the United States, the flu bug keeps biting... Elaine, how are the lines there?

QUIJANO: ....We're about two hours into this health fair here. We're at a giant supermarket in the District of Columbia. Take a look behind me. This has been pretty much the scene all morning long, people lining up to get their flu shots.

I can tell you there's a limited supply here. They only had about 50 adult and children's flu vaccines to give out. Already, they say, they've gone through about 35 of them. Very shortly, they're expecting to run out.

I talked to some of the people who were in line. Some got here as early as 8 this morning. They didn't start giving them out until 10 this morning. They say part of what prompted them to come out today were the media reports.

Now, this flu outbreak has hit hard in 24 states so far, with cases being reported in all 50 states. A shortage of the vaccine, as you mentioned, across the country has prompted the Department of Health and Human Services to order an additional 250,000 doses: 100,000 of the adult vaccines are due to be shipped to states in the next few days or so, according to health officials, and another 150,000 doses of the children's vaccine are expected to be distributed by January.

But here at this particular location, I can tell you, right now, we're in a little bit of lull. [I] don't see a lot of folks out here. But they were here early this morning, folks saying they're very anxious to get their hands on the vaccine not only for themselves but for their children.

WHITFIELD: At that location are you seeing mostly children and elderly?

QUIJANO: Exactly. A lot of children... I'm a cancer survivor, one woman said, I'm a high-risk person: I really felt it was necessary for me to get my vaccine. But she said she made sure that her granddaughter was vaccinated first... [There were] a lot of concerns over the children especially with these reports of the flu being linked to something like 11 or 12 deaths so far.


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