Because of the pandemic awareness, this was supposed to be the year of pushing seasonal flu immunization. Our flu vaccine only arrived towards the end of last week; last year we could get shots in September. (We seem to be among the earliest regions in the state or country to catch seasonal influenza.)

This year, flu shots have more than doubled in price through Alaska state Public Health, from $12 to $25 each. Fortunately, they do offer a sliding fee.

Public health will be practicing mass vaccination on Saturday, October 28, in Bethel. This is essential practice for an actual pandemic—how quickly can people be vaccinated? Flu shots will be free then.

For more info contact Public Health at 543-2110 or to make an appointment for a flu shot prior to the end of October.

Read up on flu vaccine here,

In a Flu-Season Turnabout, Officials See Wealth of Vaccine

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 – After approving a fifth flu vaccine for sale, public health officials are predicting that for the first time in four years there will be abundant supplies of vaccine this season.

In all, four manufacturers are expected to make as much as 115 million doses this year, a record supply. That is up from just two manufacturers making about 61 million doses two years ago.

The turnaround is the culmination of a long effort by public health officials and vaccine manufacturers to recover from chronic flu-shot shortages that led to long lines at vaccine clinics across the United
States. For the last two years, health officials had instructed providers to give shots in the early weeks of the season only to those deemed at highest risk. Not so this year.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/06/us/06flu.html Or: http://tinyurl.com/rsxqe

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