While the public is preoccupied with COVID-19, doctors are reminding parents that it is critical for children to get a flu shot this year and every year.
Concerned about demand among the general public outstripping supply, officials are calling on those without risk factors to wait until early December before getting the vaccine.
"For the protection of those receiving a vaccination, as well as the safety of those working in the clinic, any one who will be giving the flu shot will be wearing full PPE, including a face mask and face shield", said Holin.
People can also receive the quadrivalent vaccine (containing four different strains of the flu virus: two Type A and two Type B) or the trivalent vaccine (containing three different strains of the flu virus: two Type A and one type B). Pharmacies have been administering the influenza vaccine over the past couple weeks.
"It's certainly not 100%", Bagatell said.
Reverse image and keyword searches on Google found that the photo in the image relates to the polio vaccine, not the flu vaccine. Many pharmacies and primary care offices are offering them. According to MDHHS, Sanofi has stated it is well ahead of what it shipped by this time previous year.
"During their flu season, they were very locked down", said Dr. Jean Kutner, chief medical officer at UC Health.
While flu viruses circulate year-round, fall kicks off flu season. "No shortages that I am aware of at this point".
"The campaign for the flu vaccine began today, 13 October", Health Minister Olivier Véran wrote on social media over a promotional video for the annual campaign. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often increases in October.
The health ministry strongly urged people at risk to get vaccinated, underlining in an official statement the potential problems that could be caused by the co-circulation of the flu and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. "Having a major pandemic and then trying to get insight on the seasonal flu-it's a completely new game". That's a 33% increase from last year's total.
"Getting vaccinated against flu is more important now, than ever", Bryan Mader, assistant professor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and an extension nutrition specialist, said. Testing can help conclude if someone is sick with flu or COVID-19.
"We see a lot of Flu B with younger children and they seem to do ok with recovering; however, it's important to get the vaccine to help prevent the flu and from children developing other infections". "Some people would say 'I still got the flu and I took the vaccine.' It would be nice if we had a vaccine that was 100% effective. For example, during 2018-2019, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses, 2.3 million influenza-associated medical visits, 58,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 3,500 influenza-associated deaths", the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states here.