High demand for flu shots leaves some Interior locations short | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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High demand for flu shots leaves some Interior locations short

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November 22, 2016 - 1:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - You'll want to call ahead if you're heading out to a local pharmacy in the Southern Interior to get a flu shot to make sure they haven't run out of the influenza vaccine.

Signs are out at some pharmacies informing customers they’re out of this year's flu shots, but the situation is temporary, according to the Interior Health Authority immunization program manager Pamela de Bruin.

“Right now we do sense there’s a higher demand from immunizing partners,” she says.

While certain pharmacies have run out of their first shipment of doses, no community in the health authority is without, she says. More influenza vaccine has been ordered from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, with shipments arriving later this month.

Interior Health does have enough shots on hand for the public health clinics. The sites and times are listed on the province’s ImmunizeBC.ca clinic locator site.

If a community does seem to be running short, de Bruin says doses may be moved.

“If we become aware of a trend in a certain geographical area we’ll move vaccine accordingly,” she says. However, transportation is difficult due to the conditions vaccines need to be kept in and the geographic size of the health authority.

For now, de Bruin says to call a pharmacy ahead of time to make sure it has does have the flu vaccine on hand.

Interior Health has to order it’s vaccine shipment in February each year for the following flu season.

To make sure they have enough, health authorities compare past seasons and then add a buffer to make sure there’s enough. Each year they end up wasting about three per cent of what's ordered, de Bruin says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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