Seasonal Flu Shots In High Demand
By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
BETHANY, Oklahoma -- As if the H1N1 virus wasn't enough to worry about, it's that time of year when we have to start worrying about the seasonal flu too. Every year the seasonal flu kills about 36,000 Americans.
Now, with the high demand for the H1N1 vaccine, seasonal flu shot supplies are taking a hit. Between 300 and 400 Oklahomans will die this year from the seasonal flu, deaths that could probably be prevented by a flu shot.
At a seasonal flu shot clinic in Bethany, there were enough supplies thankfully, but that wasn’t the case at all metro clinics. At least one non-profit group in the metro was unable to procure vaccine for its own flu shot clinic.
Health officials say vaccine supplies are adequate.
“We have several thousand doses available, and we estimate using about two to three thousand today,” said H.R. Holman with the City-County Health Department.
But, a Norman church’s flu shot clinic had to be cancelled Sunday when a vaccine order placed in May was cancelled.
The supplier said government requests to prioritize the H1N1 vaccine, along with the complexities of producing two flu vaccines simultaneously has produced a demanding scenario for vaccine manufacturers.
The state Health Department said suppliers order vaccine on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“So if you get your order in sooner, you're more likely to get your order filled than if you waited till May to order your vaccine. May's pretty late in the season to be ordering vaccine,” said Don N. Blose with the Oklahoma State Health Department.
The Health Department said more flu vaccines are being produced this year than in the past, around 110 million doses.
Midwest City Community Center will hold a flu shot clinic on Tuesday, October 13 at 8 a.m. The center is located at 100 N. Midwest Blvd. They'll be giving out 2,000 shots so the clinic will last until the vaccines run out or they will close at 6 p.m.