Flu Vaccine and Tamiflu Shortage, What Can You Do?

Drink lots of clear liquids for flu relief. Image by Thoursie

Drink lots of clear liquids for flu relief. Image by Thoursie

When Tamiflu is sold out, or your doctor doesn’t think your flu case is severe enough to warrant the prescription drug, there are still things you can do to address your flu symptoms.

  • Preventing dehydration is very important, drink clear liquids throughout the day.
  • Hot tea and honey can sooth a sore throat and provide warmth and comfort to a sick person.
  • Gargling salt water can also help with a sore throat: Mix one teaspoon of salt with one cup of water, gargle and spit out.
  • Treat a fever by placing a cool washcloth on the head, washing arms and legs with a cool cloth, and/or taking a lukewarm bath. (Never take a cold bath!)
  • You can also use over-the-counter medications to treat a fever; however, they do take 30 to 45 minutes to work and may not bring your temperature down to normal (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Treat a cough by setting up a humidifier in the room, this will make it easier for you to breathe. Ask a pharmacist about over-the-counter medications to help with the cough as well. However, do not give children under the age of four any cough or cold medications.
  • If you are one of the unfortunate few people who may have vomiting or diarrhea, try plain foods such as crackers and clear liquids. Adults maybe able to take medication to stop the diarrhea as well.

2013 Severe Flu Outbreak

Although the 2013 flu season looks pretty bad on the flu trends map, and we’re seeing shortages in both vaccines and antiviral treatments, you’ve still got options. Call around and find a clinic that’s still offering the flu shot if you’d like to get vaccinated, or else be prepared to treat mild flu symptoms at home and call a doctor if you experience a severe case of influenza.


Chicago Tribune. U.S. Faces shortage of flu vaccine, Tamiflu treatment. (2013). Accessed January 11, 2013.

USA Today. Questions and Answers. Flu Season hits U.S. January 10, 2013. (2013). Accessed January 11, 2013.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Taking Care of Yourself: What to do if you get sick with the flu. (2012). Accessed. January 11, 2013.

© Copyright 2013 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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  1. Julia says

    Thank you Marcus, I agree. Everyone who takes the flut shot will have a reaction, often, they will get the flu that they try to avoid. The pharmaceutical companies are pure evil, they are all about selling their dangerous vaccines and cash in BIG on it. They make believe that there is a shortage to scare people, they use the medias to make sure everyone will hear the same thing at the same time, thinking that people will rush and get the vaccine. EVIL.

    People, do yourself a favor and look into SILVER BIOTICS, it’s a silver solution used by the military that you can use as a nasal spray and internally. It is the only thing I use in time of flu or else and it helps me heal in just a couple of days…. WITH NO SIDE EFFECTS!!!

    Say no to these vaccines and their dangerous side effects. Protect your children, your family. If you do not believe that vaccines do have SEVERE and sometimes FATAL side effects, take sometimes and do some research on the subject.

  2. says

    Now my approach is that you can prevent the flu by not getting it.
    Relate this to a traffic ticket. If you don’t speed or
    run a red light then you are free.
    Flu Symptoms originated in the Middle ages – then called the Plague.
    And ever since then we have had Clolera, Tubercolosis, Yellow fever.
    Then the Swine flu.
    And the list goes on. AIDS.
    Stay away from downbeat sick people. They are Zombies.
    If you are smart rent a seasonal cabib in upper New York.

  3. marcus113 says

    This should be under business news because it is all about selling shots of a worthless vaccine that almost never works. This bioengineer wants to see how they determined that these vaccines work at 60% clip. Also given that these so called vaccines are so popular, why are the latest epidemics worse than before the days these shots got so popular? Also, why is it that all 5 people I know who got vaccinated all got sick (one of them twice) in the last 4 months? Why is it that everyone I know that was NOT vaccinates, had milder symptoms than those who got vaccinated. Ive been watching the results of flu shots for several years now and unless all my friends are mutants, everything points to the fact that the shots absolutely dont work. Not only that, but people get sick from the shots themselves for a few days (one of my friends did).

  4. I. H. says

    I would like to recommend nasal rinsing to everyone who’s interested in preventing the cold/flu. It is also an effective remedy for seasonal allergies. Nasal rinsing removes foreign bodies like allergens, bacteria etc. from the lining of your nose before they can get active, so to speak. (No, I’m not advertising here.) I just wanted to let everyone know that there is a lot more you can do than just washing your hands and wear surgical masks to prevent germs from entering your body through the nose.
    Nasal rinsing products are available over the counter with different applicators. I prefer the one with the plastic bottle, though. Just make sure you follow the instructions and/or ask your doc/nurse what they think about it.

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