Flu Vaccine

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Every year on the first day of a flu shot clinic local health departments expect to see a line, especially the past couple of years due to a flu vaccine shortage.

Barry-Eaton District Health Department Health Officer Stephen Tackitt says, "One of the companies had a contaminated batch of vaccine and that set everyone back."

According to Dr. Dean Sienko, Medical Director of the Ingham County Health Department, "We had to make some difficult decisions about who could get the vaccine first or would get it at all. This year I don't think we'll be faced with that problem at all."

That's because the Centers for Disease Control says a near-record amount of flu vaccines will be available this year, with more than 100 million doses expected over the next few months.

Tackitt says, "We're anticipating our vaccines coming in on time which means in the next week or so. And all of us are ready for the season."

A time when five to twenty percent of the population comes down with the illness, causing about 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations. In Michigan close to 52,000 people came down with the flu during a three week peak.

Dr. Sienko says, "We encourage you to come down to the health department or go to your provider, wherever it is that you're comfortable getting the flu shot. And get one before we kick off the flu season in another month or so."