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Pharmacies See Shortage Of Vaccines As Flu Deaths Rise

Flu vaccine being administered

Photo: WikiMedia Commons

Last flu season there were 146 influenza-related deaths statewide, according to the ISDH. That was the highest in more than a decade.

The Indiana State Department of Health says the flu has killed 167 Hoosiers so far this season.

But along with the increased flu related deaths is a drop in available vaccines. Some local providers and pharmacies are even traveling to other counties to restock.

Amy Meek is program manager at the Monroe County Public Health Clinic. She says they’ve given out close to 1,200 vaccines and have around 30 doses left.

“Everyone normally orders in bulk at the beginning of the season and when they’re out, they’re out,” Meek says. “Our public health clinic, even though it’s part of IU Health, is also part of the health department and because of that relationship we’ve been able to order some extra.”

Meek says each flu vaccine is the same, containing all four flu strains, and can last up to one year.

She says you only need one flu vaccine per season. She says the only people who need two vaccines are babies who haven’t received them yet.

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