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Officials say no shortage of flu shots expected this year

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Flu shots are now available at the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department.

There is no charge to receive the flu vaccine, said office assistant Jill Stalnaker.

Protection begins about two weeks after getting the vaccine and may last up to a year.

Influenza season is from November through April each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The flu can cause fever, sore throat, cough, chills, headache and muscle aches.

Nurses from the health department have already administered flu shots at the Harrison County Senior Citizens Center last week, as well as to county and city employees, Stalnaker said.

The department received more than 1,100 doses of vaccine this year and expects about 250 more next week, Stalnaker said.

Last year, there was a shortage of flu vaccine, and some county health departments and doctors' offices did not receive the vaccines until late November and early December.

There is no shortage this year, said Curtis Allen, spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Program.

"There are 84.6 million doses of vaccine being distributed, compared to last year when there were 70.4 million doses," Allen said. "We have more vaccine than ever."

For more information on getting flu shots at the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department, call 623-9308.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or by e-mail at jbiller@exponent-telegram.com.

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