Clearly, the 2009/2010 flu season was an unusual one. The sudden appearance of H1N1, the lack of a vaccine, the decision to manufacture a vaccine and then its’ delayed arrival, all lead to a flu vaccination season like no other. What’s on the horizon for the 2010/2011 flu vaccination season? It may be early to say but we know the following:
1. H1N1 is one of the three strains to be included in the seasonal flu vaccine.
2. Vaccine prices have gone up.
3. Nursing costs have also increased.
The WHO delivered the strains to the manufacturers on time but it is too soon to know how well the strains are growing. We’ll get early reports from the manufacturers in about two weeks at the CDC/ AMA National Flu Vaccination Summit.
Last year, we saw the highest uptake of seasonal flu vaccine in history with nearly 40% of the US population getting their seasonal flu shots. Let’s see if we can’t build on that this year.