Local News

Plenty of Flu Shots Available This Year

Posted October 24, 2007

— Dr. Leah Devlin, director of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said there should not be any shortage of vaccine for flu shots this year.

On Wednesday, Devlin discussed the state's preparations for the current flu season. She said state health officials have 500,000 doses of the vaccines available for children and pregnant mothers and a record 132 million doses available in the United States.

While flu season typically runs from November to May, North Carolina already has its first confirmed case. Health officials said a Buncombe County woman has Type A Influenza – the more common and more serious of the two strains.

State epidemiologist Jeffrey Engel said health providers across North Carolina have agreed to participate in a "sentinel" network that allow them to better monitor the spread of influenza and prevent the possibility of pandemic flu.

The health providers regularly report influenza-like illness to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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  • it is getting worse Oct 25, 2007

    jeebk04... on citing sources about the dangers of vaccines...just google the words "vaccinations" and "truth" in the same search and there are over one million sites...that should be plenty of sources... but most people want check it out because they just want to "trust" people and not be personally responsible. There are even some brave doctors who publically agree... and i'm not anti-government...just "anti-believing everything you hear just because you don't want to consider what may be really the truth"... whether that's gov, dr.s, companies, university prof, etc. Just consider looking into it...what do you have to lose??? poor health?

  • DavidJonathan Oct 24, 2007

    Since getting the flu shot every year since 1993, I have never had the flu. Maybe a light touch of it that went away in about a day or two...but never a bad case of it like what hit me prior to 1993. Most of my co-workers get the shot, and we rarely have anyone out for more than a few days with colds and possible flu.

  • wcnc Oct 24, 2007

    ryoung- I still say it's a far off comparison. Should we be prepared?? Sure, but the number of hospitals in 1918 vs today, not to mention doctors, nurses, medicines, anitbiotics, etc tell me we'd be fine if there was an outbreak. You can also not compare the strain from 1918 to whatever strain might cause an outbreak today. Would think it wouldn't be the same strain, so the "projected" outcome is hard to gauge, I'd think.

  • Gunslinger Oct 24, 2007

    wcnc - Many scientist don't agree with you. There is no need for panic but for preparation. If there was a pandemic even remotely like 1918. The hospitals would be over run with patients. Supplies would run out. Quarantines would mean that new supplies would be difficult if not impossible. Countries would limit travel both internationally and locally. Our just in time economy would be devastated.

  • Gunslinger Oct 24, 2007

    A great book on the subject is John Barry's The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. Here are a few quotes from Barry:The pandemic caused 675,000 deaths in the US in 1918. A comparable number in the US today (based on the same mortality rate) would be 1.75 million.

    What was also strange about the 1918 influenza - and made it different from previous influenzas - was that it killed the youngest and strongest people in the population. Typically, influenza attacks the old, or the infirm. In 1918 more than half the deaths from the flu pandemic came from people between 16 and 40 years old. In South African cities, those between ages 20 and 40 accounted for 60% of the deaths.

    Charles-Edward Winslow, a prominent epidemiologist and professor at Yale, noted in 1918: "We have had a number of cases where people were perfectly healthy and died within twelve hours."

    Some of the tales Barry recounts are truly macabre. In Cape Town, a Charles Lewis boarded a

  • wcnc Oct 24, 2007

    To compare an epidemic from 90 years ago with today leads to panic......THere are so many more medical things in place now to protect against that kind of outbreak. While it can happen, I doubt it would. Just the antibiotics now available for the secondary infections save so many lives.

  • pleshy Oct 24, 2007

    Scientists also insisted that the last three years would be the worst Hurricane seasons ever.... how many have hit mainland US? 1, maybe 2 if you count that piddly tropical despression? Scientists also said polio and tb were eradicated, yet both are back. Forgive me if I just don't trust the predictions. The flu may have been a killer on the scale of small pox in previous eras, but Spain in 1918 was coming out of a world war where chemical and biological weapons were used for the first time in wide spread fashion. I am sure that had nothing to do with the pandemic. If 1918 was the last flu pandemic, I like my chances against the flu versus my chances with the next smallpox or cholera outbreak. Again, I don't see the flu as the next big nightmare killer virus in the face of known, more virulent, more deadly viruses against which even healthy adults who get plenty or rest and fluids stand no chance. (i.e. smallpox)

  • Gunslinger Oct 24, 2007

    This isn't 14th or 15th century, when an influenza epidemic would sweep through a community and kill everyone who wasn't in perfect health. - Pleshy

    You are completely off base on this. All scientists say that there WILL be another flu pandemic in the near future. In 1918 the Spanish flu pandemic killed millions. This was a very novel virus that our bodies had no resistance built up.

    The flu took more people in just a few months than AIDS has in the past 25 years. This has nothing to do with the flu shot but please don't think because you live today you are less likely to face a killer flu pandemic because you are wrong, DEAD WRONG.

  • jeebk04 Oct 24, 2007

    wc, don't feel bad. I posted a comment on the wrong forum the other day, talk about embarrased!

  • wcnc Oct 24, 2007

    Sorry about the double post- it took FOREVER for my internet to get the first posted and I thought it had been deleted, so I tried again and look what happened!!! Oh, well.....