Flu Shots to be Distributed Earlier This Year

If you’re looking to avoid the flu bug this year, you’ll be happy to know that flu shots will likely be distributed early this year. This is also great news for those without health insurance who need time to make arrangements for free shots.

Health Officials Want More Americans to Get Flu Shots

In an effort to get more Americans to acquire their flu shots this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making more available this year and at an earlier time. After thousands died last year as a result of the seasonal flu bug and the H1N1 swine-flu pandemic, the federal health organization says it does not want to take any chances this year.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is recommended for all Americans ages six months and older. Also, because strains change from year to year, everyone who received the flu or H1N1 shots last year should get shots this year because they will contain vaccinations against three strains of flu, including H1N1.

However, those who have egg allergies or other specific conditions should seek more information before getting one.

When Will They Be Available?

The CDC plans to have manufacturers produce between 160 million and 165 million doses this year to meet anticipated demand. Because the flu season starts in October and health officials want to get the shots earlier, many distributors are making them as early as Sept. 1.

The government plans to spend nearly $2 billion to help researchers and biotechnology companies not only develop new drugs, but also come up with new vaccines and build equipment that would shorten the six- to nine-month frame currently needed to create a flu vaccine. But until that happens, the CDC asks that everyone who needs a shot go out and theirs as early as soon as they can.

Visit the CDC flu site for more information about availability.