The flu season is just around the corner and state and area agencies are getting prepared.

“We ordered flu vaccine last March from the Sanofy Pasture company and are anticipating no problems receiving the vaccine on time this year,” said Leslea Bennett-Webb, communications director for the Oklahoma State Health Department.

With flu season usually starting around December and running through February the State Health Department is encouraging everyone to take the necessary precautions.

“We will be starting our vaccination clinics statewide on or around the 17th of October and we ask anyone at a high risk for flu to be the first to get a flu shot,” said Bennett-Webb.

Those at high risk of flu according to the State Health Department include anyone over the age of 65, any under the age of 65 that suffers from a chronic disease, long term care facility patients, 6 to 23 month olds, pregnant women, people in direct patient care, and those working in the day care or take care of 6 month old or younger are asked to be first for the first round of vaccines on October 17.

With recent shortages in the past couple of years many are worried that this maybe the case this year as well. However, the State Health Department assures everyone that this will not be the case.

“Hopefully this will be a normal year this year and we do not anticipate any shortages of the flu vaccine for any part of the state,” said Bennett-Webb.

The Woodward County Health Department agrees with state health leaders.

“We look to not have any shortages here in the county and we foresee to give a flu shot to approximately 2,800 people here at the health department and at the nine flu clinics we have tentatively planned,” said Cathy Poe, R.N. and coordinator for the Woodward County Health Department.

“We too ask that those people who are at a high risk of catching the flu come to the first clinic we will have,” Poe said. “We do not have definite dates on for our clinics yet but should be getting the dates and places very soon.”

The Center for Disease Control estimate that 10 to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu each flu season. Children are two to three times more likely than adults to get sick with the flu. The CDC also estimates that in the United States more than 100,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die from the flu and its complications every year.

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