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CBS 12: Some parents rushing to get flu shots for their kids, hospitals feeling flu impact

The death of a West Palm Beach boy, possibly from the flu, is causing other parents to take notice.

Some are deciding they no longer want to put off getting their child a flu shot.

An MD Now Urgent Care Clinic in West Palm Beach says they had 130 patients Thursday and at least half of them were people either battling the flu or people who came in to get a flu shot.

“I wanted to make sure she was vaccinated,” said Jessica Pinsky, West Palm Beach resident.

Pinsky brought her daughter Ella, a 6th grader, to an urgent care clinic Thursday night to get a flu shot.

She says after the apparent flu-related death Tuesday of Dylan Winnik, 12, she decided a flu shot is a must.

“It did raise my awareness and concern of the issue,” Pinsky said.

“The death of this boy was kind of a wake-up call for you?” CBS 12 asked.

“I think so,” she said.

Flu activity is on the rise in almost every Florida county and the worst is likely still to come in south Florida.

“I’ve always viewed the flu vaccine as not a necessary vaccine, so I think we’re starting to take things a little bit more seriously, and so I decided you know what? Let’s do it. This isn’t you know, something to mess around with this year,” Pinsky explained.

Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center is overwhelmed with flu patients as well.

It has been non-stop for doctors for the last two weeks.

“We’re seeing 20-40 patients more than our normal this time of year. So that’s a lot,” said Dr. Jaime Snarski, a physician at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

Because of the overflow, the hospital is transforming space to make room for sick patients. In some cases, beds are being set up in conference rooms to accommodate the new patients.

“We’ve been busy. So you wonder is it going to get worse? When will it start petering off? We just don’t know at this time,” Dr. Snarski said.

Other hospitals such as St. Mary’s Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center and West Boca Raton Medical Center are also seeing an increase in flu patients.

Pinsky has some advice for other parents.

She says flu shots are not easy to find. She says her pediatrician was out of flu vaccine, and so were two other urgent care clinics she called.

So she says if you have a child who needs a flu shot, don’t be surprised if you have to call around because she discovered that some places are running out.

Courtesy WPEC. Original article can be viewed here.