U.S. FLU VACCINE SUPPLY ESTIMATED AT 115 MILLION DOSES
Flu shots may currently be difficult to get, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is currently no shortage, and they do not expect there to be one this season. CDC increased its estimate of the flu vaccine supply for this season to 115 million, the most ever, but said many healthcare providers don’t have their full supply yet because of distribution issues.
Manufacturers have already begun to ship this season’s influenza vaccine, with almost all of the vaccine expected to be shipped and distributed in October and November. “Given the number of manufacturing plants in the U.S. and the large number of doses currently being produced each year, it isn’t possible to complete the production and distribution process prior to the vaccination season,” said Dr. Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Services Division.
According to Santoli, 40 million doses had already been distributed as of the second week of October. By the end of October, a total of 75 million doses will have been distributed. Healthcare providers should start vaccinating as soon as they get vaccine supplies and keep offering inoculations as late as January and beyond, CDC advises. “Flu season typically peaks in February or later and even when disease is present in the community, an individual can benefit from vaccination, Santoli added.
Acupuncture can provide an alternative to safeguard against this season’s flu. Four acupuncture treatments administered during the summer-fall change of seasons can boost the immune system and protect against constitutional weakness that can lead to onset of flu symptoms. Acupuncture works best as a preventative healthcare method. With the flu season peak occurring in February or later, there is plenty of time to plan ahead for acupuncture treatment, which may occur on a weekly basis over a month’s time span.
When combined with herbal remedies to prevent catching the flu, acupuncture strengthens the Wei Qi, or energy that protects against illness. The Jade Windscreen Formula, (Radix Astragalus, Atractylodis Macrocephalae and Radix Ledebouriellae) and Yin Qiao San, (Lonicera and Forsythia Formula) are two Chinese herbal formulas commonly used during the flu season that can strengthen the immune system and reduce fever, sore throat and coughing.