SACRAMENTO, CA - Some 200 people lined up for free flu vaccinations Monday at the State Capitol, which was much more than organizers with Anthem Blue Cross expected.
"We want to make sure people are prepared and that they're vaccinated, to reduce their chances of getting the flu in the next couple of weeks," Anthem Blue Cross spokesperson Darrel Ng explained.
The influenza virus has killed five people in California so far this winter, two of them from Sacramento.
Friday, the Centers for Disease Control declared the flu outbreak an epidemic.
Doors for the free clinic at the capitol opened at 1 p.m., and lines quickly formed with some people waiting nearly two hours.
"From what I understand, this is a far worse flu season than last year, and I don't want to take any chances," says Melvin Winrow who got his flu shot at the clinic.
The flu vaccine is hard to come by in some spots around town; some people said they've showed up at local health clinics and drug stores, only to be told they had run out of the vaccine that day.
The CDC said this year's flu season is worse than average and particularly bad for the elderly. It is recommended those 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year.
Those who get the flu shot are 60 percent less likely to go to the doctor for influenza.