Local News

Plenty of Flu Shots Available This Year

Posted October 24, 2007 5:49 a.m. EDT
Updated October 24, 2007 12:59 p.m. EDT

— 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.