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Stacey Vanek-Smith: The H1N1, or swine flu, is grabbing the headlines. But regular, old, seasonal flu is still around. And there’s a shortage of vaccine. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer explains.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: So, you want a regular flu shot? Get in line. Doctors offices across the country have run out of the vaccine. Part of the problem is suppliers are making vaccines for seasonal, and swine flu. And they’re making less of the regular vaccine this year.
Tom Skinner is a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He says suppliers were stuck with millions of unsold doses last year.
TOM SKINNER: Last year about 135 million doses were produced, but only about 113 million doses were actually distributed.
So suppliers are only making about 114 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine this year. But demand is actually up because people are worried about swine flu. More regular flu vaccine should be available by the end of next month. Doctor John Treanor is with the University of Rochester Medical Center.
DR. JOHN TREANOR: We have plenty of time to get the seasonal flu vaccine, and we even recommend continuing to give that even after Thanksgiving.
And the CDC says the regular flu season probably won’t really take off until this winter.
In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.