Early flu shot season may come with 3 jabsSubmitted by Dozer 001 on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 07:14
ATLANTA - Get ready to roll up your sleeve three times for flu shots this fall.
That's right, three times. This year's flu season is shaping up to be a very different one. Most people will need one shot for the regular seasonal flu and probably two others to protect against the new swine flu.
Experts suggest you get that first shot as early as this month — if you can find it.
"We'd like to get to Job 1 and get most of it done," said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University flu expert, referring to seasonal flu vaccinations.
"Get it done before we start to tackle Job 2," the more complex task of swine flu vaccinations, he added.
The five vaccine manufacturers that supply the United States are finishing up production of seasonal flu vaccine earlier than usual. Health officials say they expect about half of the more than 120 million doses of seasonal vaccine to be available by the end of this month. Most of the rest are due out by the end of September. Some manufacturers report that distributors are quickly buying up supplies.
Expected in the fall
Those five companies — including one that makes a nasal spray version of flu vaccine — are the same ones making the new swine flu vaccine. They are on track to start delivering the first batches of that in September, but the bulk of it isn't expected until late October or November, health officials say.
Good luck everyone!