Flu shot supply limited, going quickly

At time of printing the J.J. Oakley Campus Health Services distributed nearly all the seasonal flu shots available on Tech campus.
The 400 shots at Health Services went quickly to students and faculty, leaving many wondering why there was only enough for less than four percent of campus.
“We ordered the 400 doses, which is about the same as last year,” Randy Tompkins, supervisor for Health Services, said. “We have to try and determine the number needed based on last year’s totals.”
Production of the seasonal flu vaccine requires 10 months of production time, meaning health care providers must estimate the numbers needed very early in the year.
Health officials produce a new vaccine every year based on the three most potent strains of flu that year, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. So, providers cannot stockpile left over shots from past years.
“We’ve had several years where we’ve had to eat the cost of left-over shots,” Tompkins said. “It’s difficult to project how long they will last each year.”
The H1N1 influenza virus, which first appeared in Mexico in March, caused more people to get the seasonal flu shot compared to past years.”The seasonal flu shot will not protect against H1N1,” Tompkins said, contradicting rumors, which stated otherwise.
According to the national Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the H1N1 vaccine will be available later this fall.