Health officials urge getting flu vaccine despite FluMist shortage

Flu season is upon us and according to Columbus Public Health, Influenza is already circulating here in Central Ohio.

While health officials are urging you and your kids to get vaccinated, the ways to do so are currently more limited. A nationwide shortage of the FluMist or nasal spray flu vaccine is affecting the supplies in the Columbus area.

The manufacturer of the FluMist has only been able to deliver about 30 percent of its order to both private and public providers.  The company estimates supplies to be at 60 percent by the end of the year.

Consequently some doctors’ offices and school flu clinics will have smaller supplies and some won’t have the FluMist at all.

“We realize the FluMist is highly desirable for many people especially young kids because they don’t like needles. But I would encourage them that they should go ahead and get the injectible at this time to make sure they’re safe. For the flu season, with such a low volume of FluMist being available right now and more not expected to late December or January. That’s really when we see the peak of flu activity and we want’ individuals to be protected before then,” explained Dr. Mysheika Roberts, the Medical Director of Columbus Public Health.

Doctors say both the flu shot and nasal spray are equally effective.

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