Kids' Flu Vaccines: Distribution Delay - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Kids' Flu Vaccines: Distribution Delay

Reporter: Shannon Samson
New Media Producer: Rachel Chambliss

The company that makes Fluzone, the flu vaccine approved for children under the age of 3, has announced a three week delay in shipping the final doses.

A spokesperson says it just took longer to produce this year's serum. It's always custom made to protect against what are expected to be the most popular strains of the flu for any given year.

Welborn Clinic was lucky enough to receive its entire shipment - all 12,500 doses. It's already started its pediatric clinics which are open to Welborn patients only.

This year, the CDC has expanded its guidelines. They recommend children ages six months to five years and any children with chronic conditions get a flu shot.

Pediatrician Dr. Dolly Schutte Marx says children with asthma or diabetes, for example, would be considered higher at risk. "If they did get the flu, they could potentially be more ill. So kids outside of those groups or outside of that age range would not be considered as high-risk and could certainly wait a little bit later in the flu season to get their flu shot."

If healthy kids have to wait until November to get their shot, they'll be protected by January when flu season really gets going.

Deaconess expects to get its big shipment of shots by Thursday. St. Mary's expect a shipment in a few weeks.

Kids should be reminded to wash their hands, stay away from people who are sick, and stay home from school when they're sick.

And the delay only affects the vaccine for kids. As of now, there is no shortage or delay for the adult vaccine.

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