Doctor's offices and pharmacies were flushed with people trying to get the flu shot after Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a public health emergency.

At a CVS near Copley Square, dozens of people wait in line to get a flu shot. Many, like Michael Ostrow, were skipping lunch to do so.

“Actually I woke up to a text to my mom who lives all the way in Pennsylvania,” Ostrow said. “She says, ‘Michael, you better go get a flu shot, it's like an epidemic now.’ So, better safe then sorry.”

Better safe than sorry seems to be the sentiment of the day. All around the city and its outskirts, doctors, pharmacies and hospitals have see an uptick in questions about the flu and requests for the flu shot.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and primary care practices at Tufts Medical Center and Brigham and Womens Hospital all reported a significant increase in volume of calls.

This is proof that when a public health emergency is declared — especially by the mayor — people pay attention.

“The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to get the flu shot,” Menino said.  “I’ve had mine.  I’m asking you to get yours.” 

Pediatrician Sally Roth works at a private practice in Brookline. 

“I've had, let's see, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, seven kids today who came in extra for flu shots,” Roth said.

To encourage more residents to get the flu shot, the Boston will make 45 thousand robocalls, with a focus on senior citizens. 

The Boston Public Health Commission plans on vaccinating thousands for free this weekend, which you can see in the map embedded below, or as a list at this link.