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Flu deaths send many seeking vaccines

Flu continues to spread around the North Bay amid reports of a run on vaccines that has rendered some pharmacies temporarily short of doses at times, though there is an ample supply of shots overall and stores are easily replenished, health officials said.

Several flu-related deaths in the greater Bay Area -#8212; including two in Sonoma County -#8212; and experts' assurances that flu season has yet to reach its peak, appear to have put the disease front and center. A rush on vaccinations is one of the results.

But health experts say this year, especially, it's worth being persistent if that's what necessary to get a flu shot. They say this year's vaccine matches up well with the H1N1 flu strain that's been making folks sick in recent weeks.

It also appears that those who have become severely ill, once infected, have mostly been unvaccinated, said Gary Green, infectious disease chief at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa.

The fact that H1N1 seems to infect children and young adults disproportionately when compared with other flu strains also has caused alarm in the public and concern in the medical field as well, health experts said.


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