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Local supply of the ‘high-dose’ flu vaccine has run out

Published on

Troy Shantz
Sarnia seniors hoping to receive Ontario’s extra-strength flu vaccine may have to wait awhile.

Fluzone High-Dose is the recommended defence against the flu for adults 65 and older, Lambton Public Health says. But a distribution problem with the supplier has caused a delay of unknown duration, said Erin Courtney Lambton’s supervisor of health protection.

Two flu shots have been available this fall through doctor offices, pharmacies and public health clinics. The readily available standard dose protects against A and B influenza strains and is recommended for residents ages six-months to 64 years old, Courtney said.

The boosted version, which has only been provincially funded since last winter, offers more protection against the A strain, for which seniors are at increased risk, she said.

Sarnia’s Paula Crozier is a 69-year-old cancer survivor who was scheduled to be immunized last month, as she has annually since 2000. But her doctor cancelled the appointment last minute because of the shortage.

“I was very upset because I do everything I can to keep my health right,” Crozier said. “Anyone who has had chemo… you have to have these shots.”

Crozier was able to get the high-dose shot from Lambton Public health on Nov. 1, when public health officials administered the last of their remaining supply to hundreds of seniors.

As of last week, supplies were almost depleted and it could be months until more arrive, Courtney said.

Given the choice, seniors should opt for the high-dose vaccine but any flu shot is better than no flu shot, she said.

“Both vaccines are effective and recommended. The most important thing is for seniors to get a flu shot.”

For more, visit www.lambtonpublichealth.ca

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