Officials: Some delays in 'FluZone' vaccine for elderly, no shortage
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Some recent reports suggesting there is a shortage of flu vaccines for the elderly population are not necessarily true, especially in Chemung County. The reports indicate the vaccine for those 65-years-or older called "FluZone" is experiencing some sort of shortage, however Chemung County Director of Public Health says there is no official shortage listed.
"I would certainly look at this as something that's currently unfolding. We have received no information from CDC nor State DOH to let us know that there'd be any type of shortage. checking on the CDC website, there's no shortage listed with the other vaccines," explains Public Health Director for Chemung County, Pete Buzzetti,
FluZone is a higher concentrated inactivated flu vaccine, specifically for the elderly population. It contains four times the antigen (the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses) of standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccines. The higher dosage is intended to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.
Earlier this fall, the CDC reported some delays in orders, but that does not mean a shortage.
"Right now the Health Center received all the doses it had ordered earlier in October. What I think what's happening is it's all based on who your supplier is and as you run out and you go to order some more there's not enough doses to fill those orders," Buzzetti explains.
While there is no official start date to mark the beginning of flu season this year, it's typically to get your shot by the end of October.
"Flu season hasn't officially started yet but it will be coming up soon so it's a good idea to go and get your flu shot. It is one of the best preventative measures we have for the flu vaccine. In addition, if you do get the flu it's reported that your symptoms will be lessened," says Buzzetti.
Additional resources and information about the flu vaccine, and the influenza virus can be found below:
CDC Vaccine Shortage List: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/clinical-resources/shortages.html
Flu Season Info Page: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/index.html
FAQ's for 2019-2020 Flu Season: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2019-2020.htm