Flu vaccines delayed for upcoming season

Updated: Aug. 21, 2019 at 5:57 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - You are going to have to wait a bit longer to get your flu shot this year after the CDC says vaccine production has been delayed.

“Rather than going ahead and creating the vaccine and releasing not the the best vaccine, they are just waiting a month,” says PA Gary Toppin of Masonboro Family Medicine. “I do think it’s the right thing to do, they did it once before in 2003 and times before that and it’s better to try and get it right from the start than to put out the wrong vaccine.”

The flu vaccine protects against the three to four flu types that are most common.

The reason for the delay is the H3N2 virus: This strain often changes and is difficult to select a vaccine virus to fight it.

There is a silver lining in the delay, as the flu shot should be more effective.

Many people who want to get a head start on the flu season typically get their shots in August, but waiting a few extra weeks to get the vaccine, shouldn’t be an issue.

“We’re expecting to get the vaccine in September, anyways, and from my understating we didn’t get it until then last year anyways," says Toppin. "Even though it was released earlier, I don’t normally recommend getting it until September-October. My family will get it in that time frame unless there’s an early outbreak here in the area.”

Those getting the vaccine should be able to receive it by mid to late September. Once it is available, health experts urge you to get the shot as soon as possible.

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