- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s Health Department is urging people to get vaccinated for the upcoming flu season.

“A couple of vaccine manufacturers are reporting delays in shipments of flu vaccine this year, but it is anticipated that there will be an adequate supply of flu vaccine starting in October,” Immunization Surveillance Coordinator Amy Schwartz said in a statement. “We are urging everyone to get vaccinated to avoid influenza, regardless of age or health status.”

Officials at First District Health Unit in Minot have scheduled a flu shot clinic for Oct. 8 and are still waiting for vaccine to arrive, but there are no plans right now to delay the clinic, Nursing Director Penny Hamilton told KXMC-TV.

All of the vaccine that the health unit ordered this year is the type that protects against four strains of the flu virus, rather than the usual three.

“It was limited last year but we got what we could. This year we ordered all Quadrivalent (vaccine), and that is what is being delayed,” she said.

Flu activity in North Dakota begins in the fall and typically peaks in March or April. Last season, there were nearly 3,000 cases in the state, with 149 hospitalizations and eight deaths.

“Even if you don’t feel the need to be vaccinated to protect yourself, everyone is close to someone who is at high risk for complications due to influenza, so you still should be vaccinated to protect those people,” Schwartz said.




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