Over 100 Million Flu Shots Available in U.S. This Season

Most supplies will be distributed by the end of November

THURSDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- There will be more than 100 million doses of influenza vaccine available this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost all of the vaccines are due to be shipped and distributed in October and November. Vaccine manufacturers and distributors have been working with the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to increase supply and distribute the vaccine doses early.

"When and how much vaccine each health care provider or clinic receives depends on who they ordered from and when they ordered," said Lance Rodewald, M.D., director of CDC's Immunization Services Division, in a statement. "We expect that some health care providers and clinics may get or have more influenza vaccine than others in the first month or so, but people will have plenty of opportunities to be vaccinated during October and November, as well as December or later."

Between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population is infected with influenza every year, hospitalizing more than 200,000 people, of which 36,000 cases are fatal. The best time to be vaccinated is October or November, but later vaccination is still worthwhile because the influenza season does not peak until February.

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