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Shortage of flu vaccine making an impact across Oklahoma

Updated:
We’re learning more about the severe shortage of flu shots Oklahomans can expect this year.

The Oklahoma Department of Health says their supplies of flu vaccine have been cut by 90%. And you can bet the demand for that remaining 10% is huge.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood has more on this serious shortage. The state health department says your best bet to get a flu shot this season is to check with your family doctor. But even they might not have any of the vaccine. The state says it all depends on whom they ordered from.

Oklahoma ordered almost all of their vaccine from "Chiron," a British pharmaceutical company that had its license suspended due to safety problems. They said they ordered so much from Chiron because they were the cheapest provider. Many other folks may be in the same boat.

The Visiting Nurse Association in Tulsa has been forced to cancel all of their flu shot clinics because their supply has been cut from almost 75,000 does to just 1,700. But the nurses say it's important for the few shots they "do have" to go to people who are at high risk of dying from the flu - like older adults and babies - and for everyone else to take a year off. Jan Guinn, Visiting Nurse Association: "Give those flu shots to those who are most in need of it, and you and I and the rest of everyone out there, let's let those who really need it most have them."

And with the flu shot in such short supply, experts say simple flu prevention may be more important than ever. To read about some simple ways to protect yourself Click here.
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