No flu vaccine shortage this year

(September 26, 2003) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Arkansas health official say they do not expect last year's shortage of flu shots to repeat this flu season. The state Health Department says it has already ordered about 150-thousand vaccinations for distribution to health units across the state by October 15th. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says October and November are the best time to receive a shot to be protected during peak flu season, which typically runs from December to March. Flu shots are encouraged for children six months to 23 months old and senior citizens. The C-D-C urges shots for people with heart or lung disease, diabetes, asthma or illnesses that suppress the immune system such as AIDS. New this year is a vaccine that doesn't have to be administered with a syringe. However the nasal spray form of the vaccine is more expensive, Beets said, but is only approved for use on people ages 5 to 49. Others encouraged to receive the vaccine include those with kidney or heart diseases, diabetes and asthma. Flu shots are made with dead virus and cannot give a recipient the flu.