Flu Shots - Getting Ready for the Season

Flu Shots - Getting Ready for the Season
By: Wendy Ray

It's not flu season yet, but Heartland health departments are getting ready. The biggest question, will there be enough shots to go around this year? We spoke with Jane Wernsman with the Cape County Health Department Thursday to find out.

"We haven't heard anything that indicates it's going to be any worse of a season than any other year," Wernsman says. That's what the flu outlook is now, but Wernsman says there's always the potential for people to develop the flu. The good news is there should be close to 97 million doses of the vaccine available this year. The bad news, your shot may be more expensive. "We've been told to anticipate an additional 75 cents per dose excise tax placed on by the CDC to go toward the National Injury Vaccine Compensation Program," she says.

Ten shots come from one vial, raising the cost of a flu vaccine vial by $7.50. Wernsman says she doesn't know yet how much actual flu shots will go up in cost. The Cape County Health Department has ordered 4,000 doses, they should be in by late October, but looking at the way things have gone the last few flu seasons nothing's set in stone. "There's absolutely no way we can know how much we're going to get and an exact date to when we're going to get it," Wernsman says.

One thing's for certain, some people are ready to get a flu shot. "I get one every year," one man says. "I always get it, because I get it from the VA," another man says. "I've never had trouble getting one," one woman says.

Wernsman adds this year hurricane evacuees living in shelters will be a high priority in getting flu shots because of the close quarters they're living in.