Flu shot demand up and getting more supply won't be easy

vaccine

As demand for flu shots appears to be up across the country, the Public Health Agency of Canada is working with suppliers to order more doses, a feat that could prove more difficult than it sounds.
     
In a written statement, an official from the federal agency said production of flu vaccine is usually finished by the end of October. Canada can only find additional doses from other countries that ordered more than they can use, or possibly from suppliers who produced more doses per batch than expected.
     
``Discussions are continuing with Canada's influenza vaccine suppliers to identify any additional vaccine that they may have available for Canada,'' said the statement sent late Wednesday.
     
It will not be until later this month, or early in December, that the agency will know if more doses can be found, the statement said.
     
Public health officials and politicians have asked ``every'' Canadian to get vaccinated against influenza so that hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 don't also get hit with a flu-season tsunami.
     
Orders for the flu vaccine begin in February, based on last year's uptake. Provinces submit their requests to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which puts in a bulk order.