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Health Officials: No Shortage Of Flu Vaccine This Year

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Sheree Vodicka always gets a flu shot.

But last year when there was a vaccine shortage, Vodicka did not qualify for a flu shot because she was not in a high-risk category. As a result, she got the flu.

"It was awful. I was on the sofa for a week and then sick for another week after that," Vodicka said. "So, it was just really miserable,"

For Vodicka, last year's flu season was miserable. For others, however, it was scary because of the shortage.

People stood in lines and waited for hours to try and get a flu shot. This year, state health officials say getting the vaccine should be much easier and that if there are long lines, it will not be from a short supply.

"I think human nature may come into play and there may be long lines, but I do believe, at this point, there's no indication that leads us to believe we are going to have a shortage," said state vaccine manager Barbara Laymon.

North Carolina has already received 25 percent of the flu vaccine for flu season, which begins October and lasts until March.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is already in high gear to start offering free shots to its members. They think the demand this year could be bigger than ever.

"Hopefully, the shortage last year raised folks' awareness about the need to get shots early in the season and really pay more attention to getting those shots," said Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. Executive Medical Director Dr. Don Bradley.

Both the state and Blue Cross are not going about getting their doses any differently. Some private physician offices, however, are getting supplies from a few companies just to ensure they have the vaccine should an unexpected shortage occur.


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