NHC and Pender Co. Health Dept. out of seasonal flu vaccines

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Adults who haven't gotten a seasonal flu shot yet, may be out of luck.

According to health officials, the New Hanover and Pender County Health Departments have run out of the seasonal flu vaccine for adults.

"I do believe some people probably who have never taken a seasonal flu shot have taken it this year," said Janet McCumbee with the New Hanover Co. Health Department.  "In fact, I was giving flu shots yesterday and I know two of the people that I saw yesterday just within a few hours this was their first year taking a seasonal flu shot."

Health officials said they set aside enough vaccinations to cover those who have already made an appointment.  They also added there are plenty of seasonal flu vaccinations for children.

ASD Healthcare is one of the biggest distributors of flu vaccine in the US. They sent a letter this week to the NHC Health Department saying, because of manufacturers creating fewer seasonal flu vaccines, they "will be unable to fill 100% of our customer orders for this year's influenza  season."

"They switched gears and started making H1N1 vaccine and did not produce as much seasonal flu vaccine as they originally intended to," said McCumbee.

They estimate that Novartis Vaccines is bringing about ten million fewer vaccines to the market than they originally estimated.

Officials with the health department said they are unsure if they will get any more seasonal flu shots in stock, and means many people who need it, will not be getting shots this year.

The Columbus County Health Department said they still have flu shots available, but have not yet decided whether to prioritize who gets vaccinated.

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