Yes, You Can Still Get Shot!
So, Do It Now!
Or, Is The Flue Shot Shortage For Real?

It's that time of year again. The Flu is here and here now!  A lot of you still don't believe in Flu Shots!  For those that do believe, you may have been put off by the reportage shortage of Vaccine this year.

So, is there really a shortage?  Yes, and No.  If you went to get a Flue Shot at the beginning of the season  in early October, you may have had a hard time finding a place to get a shot, if you were not in the high risk category.

It is now December.  Any one can find and get a Flu Shot, and everyone (almost, see below, for those few who should not) should get one.

Is I was writing this article I called  some Urgent Care Centers, Pharmacies, and my own doctors office.  It took some doing but I did find a place near me to get a shot. 

On calling Urgent Care Centers most if they had any Vaccine had restrictions on it.  A few did not.  On calling Pharmacies I had no luck with the big chain outlets.  I did find some "mom and pop" Pharmacies that had the Vaccine with no restrictions.  My own doctor's office had none, and was not expecting any for 3 more weeks.

To be honest, yes there is a shortage, sort of.  What happened is that the manufacturing of this years Vaccine got a late start.  There will be just as much available as last year.  The supply is just slow in coming.

Now the Flue session can last as long as next April or May, so getting a shot even in December or January is a good idea.

You have two choices.  Put up with having to hunt down a shot, or put up with two weeks of being in total misery with the Flue.

I decided to get shot.  What are you going to do?

Here is the original Flue article from years past:

"Get Shot... Or You’ll Wish You Had Been"
Yes folks, it’s that dreaded time again. FLU SEASON!!

The flu takes more then just a toll on people. It can really mess up a business. Last year here in Los Angeles, California, every person I know that got the flu was out of it for a week. That’s a lot of time for a lot of people to lose from work. Even in a large office you can look forward to a great loss in productivity as the flu makes the rounds.

If you think losing time from your work and the financial loss that goes with it is a bummer, you haven’t felt anything yet. Just imagine how you will feel for that week.


The year before last, the flu kicked my butt. Last year I got a flu shot. When the flu made its rounds I did not get it. Lots of friends and business associates did. I know, I was repeatedly exposed to it. So this year I’m getting another shot. Now, just so you know…if I’m willing to get a Flu shot everyone should be. You see, we all have our little phobias. Mine is needles. I hate just thinking about a shot. Makes my skin crawl (writing this article bugs me). Last year I got my shot from an off duty harpoonist and I had the bruise to prove it. My arm felt like the vaccine was pounded into it. But the effects of the flu are so bad, that I was glad I got the shot. I’m doing it again this year. So if I can get shot, so can you.

Remember that if you get the flu, you will wish someone would just shoot you. It’s no fun. So get shot first.

Even More Information For You

This is from the CDC web site:

June 22, 2000
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Flu Season 2000-01



  • Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract.
  • The virus generally spreads from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Compared with other respiratory infections like the common cold, the flu can cause severe illness and lead to serious, and life-threatening complications in all age groups.
  • Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue. Children may experience gastrointestinal problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea but such symptoms are not common in adults. Although the term "stomach flu" is sometimes used to describe gastrointestinal illnesses, this is caused by other organisms and is not related to “true” flu.
  • There are several common misconceptions about the flu including:


    • Flu is merely a nuisance.
      Flu is a major cause of illness and death in the U.S. and leads on average to approximately 20,000 deaths and >110,000 hospitalizations each year.


    • Flu vaccine causes the flu.
      The licensed flu vaccine used in the United States, which is made from inactivated or killed influenza viruses, cannot cause influenza infection and does not cause influenza illness.


    • Flu vaccine is not very effective.
      When the vaccine viruses and circulating viruses are well matched, vaccine can be very effective. However, flu vaccine only provides protection against influenza. People who have received flu vaccine may subsequently develop a respiratory illness that is due to another virus, but is mistaken for flu. In addition, protection from the vaccine is not 100%. Studies of healthy young adults have shown flu vaccine to be 70% to 90% effective in preventing illness. In the elderly and those with certain chronic medical conditions, the vaccine is often less effective in preventing illness. However, the vaccine is effective in reducing flu-related hospitalizations and deaths among older adults.

      By far, the most common side effect of flu vaccine is arm soreness and swelling at the site of injection. Some people, usually children who have not been exposed to influenza virus in the past, may have fever and body aches after vaccination. These symptoms, if they occur, usually start 6-12 hours after vaccination and can continue for 1 or 2 days.

      Less common side effects that can occur after vaccination include allergic reactions (particularly in people who have a severe allergy to eggs), and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a severe paralytic illness. In 1976, swine flu vaccine was associated with an increased number of cases of GBS. Influenza vaccines since then have not been clearly linked to GBS. However, if there is a risk of GBS from current influenza vaccines, it is estimated at 1 or 2 cases per million persons vaccinated.


  • Influenza viruses continually change over time, and each year the vaccine is updated to include the viruses that are most likely to circulate in the upcoming influenza season. The influenza vaccine (flu shot) that has been produced for the 2000-01 flu season contains three influenza virus strains designated A/Panama, A/New Caledonia, and B/Yamanashi.


  • In addition to flu viruses, other respiratory organisms also frequently circulate during the same time period and can cause similar respiratory illness. For example, respiratory syncytial virus is the most common cause of severe respiratory illness in young children.


  • The best time to get a flu shot is from October through mid-November. However, shots can be taken at any time during flu season. It takes 1–2 weeks, after receiving the shot, for a person to develop protective antibody.


  • Flu vaccines are 70%–90% effective in preventing influenza among healthy adults. Among elderly or people with chronic conditions, the vaccine may be less effective in preventing disease than in preventing serious complications and death. 


  • The most important major group who should receive flu vaccine are people 50 years or older; residents of nursing homes; children and teens on long-term aspirin therapy; women who will be in their second or third trimester during flu season; and people of any age with chronic diseases of the heart, lung, and kidneys, or who have diabetes, immunosuppression, or severe forms of anemia. The second major group who should be vaccinated against flu are those who are in close or frequent contact with anyone in the high-risk groups listed above. These people include healthcare personnel and volunteers, and people who live in a household with a high-risk person.

Flu Season 2000-01: See also...

Flu Season 2000-01 

The Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working closely with vaccine manufacturers to facilitate the availability of safe and effective influenza vaccine for the upcoming flu season.  Influenza vaccine manufacturers have told FDA and CDC to expect delays in flu vaccine shipments and that it is possible there will be reductions of available influenza virus vaccine for the 2000-01 season.                

The total amount of vaccine available for the influenza season is uncertain at this time.  However, both FDA and CDC are actively working with manufacturers to determine how much and when vaccine will be available.  The amount of available flu vaccine will become clearer over the next two months.

CDC has a Flu Vaccine Supply website  to help health professionals find sources of this years flu vaccine.  CDC has also available a cybercast on the 2000-2001 Update on Preparing for Next Influenza Pandemic at this link:

Influenza Vaccine: Questions and Answers

Who is at highest risk for complications from influenza?

Persons at high risk for complications from influenza should receive annual vaccination and include the following:

Will those at highest risk from complications be able to get a flu shot?

It is important to stress that FDA, CDC and vaccine manufacturers are confident that vaccine will be available to vaccinate those at highest risk of complications from influenza, including those over 65, those who are immunosuppressed and others.

If a substantial shortfall of vaccine were to occur, the ACIP and CDC would provide modified recommendations for the 2000-2001 influenza season that emphasize vaccinating persons at highest risk of death from influenza (and the health care workers who take care of them) and then vaccinating, as the vaccine supply allows, the other groups for whom vaccine is traditionally recommended.                

Why is there a delay in vaccine availability?

The amount of vaccine available is complicated by two important factors: 1) the yield for this year's influenza vaccine A(H3N2) component appears to be lower than expected which limits the supply that can be developed in time for this flu season and, 2) other manufacturing issues. Manufacturers are working closely with the FDA to address these issues.                

Is there an alternative to flu shots?

Currently, four antiviral drugs are approved by the FDA to treat acute, uncomplicated influenza.  These drugs are not a substitute for influenza vaccine and should not be used as such. The annual use of influenza vaccine is the primary means for minimizing adverse outcomes from influenza virus infections.                

Over the course of the influenza season new information is expected to become available, and CDC and FDA will issue information updates.

Flu Season 2000-01: See also...

Direct contact information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Immunization Information Hotline

 Food and Drug Administration

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