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Demand Mushrooming For Flu Shots

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WSSHINGTON, D.C., Dec 04, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- With five Colorado children killed by the influenza virus and predictions of a particularly bad flu season, vaccine demands have mushroomed.

Doctors in the Washington region are fielding so many calls, parents often must wait two weeks for a flu shot, the Washington Post said Thursday. Lines have formed at local clinics.

The seven doctors at Children's Pediatricians & Associates in Gaithersburg, Md., are seeing little of the virus but are getting "tons, tons of calls," receptionist Ginny O'Brien said.

Robert Graw, managing partner for five Pediatric Group offices in Anne Arundel and eastern Prince George's counties, says there has not been an increase of patients with flu-like symptoms but his doctors have used up their vaccine, which was double last year's order, and have asked for 400 more doses.

"People have come in two by two," he said. "They're lining up and (they) say they're very nervous."

Health officials say they should be.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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