Flu Season Is Here

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

One case of the flu has been reported in Kalamazoo County, but acting state medical director Dr. Dean Sienko says it this is not unusual and does not indicate an increase in flu activity.

As far as flu vaccine is concerned, Sienko says the U.S. expects 90 to 100 million doses this year and compared to last year's 60 million dose supply, he says we are much more prepared.

But the Food and Drug Administration is still in the process of approving Chiron's vaccine supply and this could lead to delays. Chiron's shipment may not arrive until mid-November or December. Since peak flu season does not usually hit until after the New Year, people can still be protected even if they are not vaccinated until late in the year.

For now, health officials are urging anyone in the high-risk category to get a shot now. Those include:
-Anyone more than 65 years old
-Children ages 6 to 23 months
-Pregnant women
-Anyone with a chronic illness or living in a shelter or long-term care facility

The door for everyone to get a flu shot will open October 24, but health officials ask people to be patient as vaccine arrives in the state.


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