When flu season started, Dr. Benjamin Diven, Medical Director of NMSU’s Campus Health Center ordered the usual number of the flu vaccines…about 600.
This year, that is going to be gone before the end of the season.
“By this time of year, it becomes very difficult to even get flu vaccine because everybody’s used up their stocks.”
This year’s flu season has seen more cases of the H1N1 strain and an increasing number of people are being vaccinated.
A myth that comes back every year is that you can get the flu from the injected vaccine.
“The flu shot is inactivated…incapable of producing flu…can’t get the flu from it.”
After getting a flu shot it takes about 10 to 12 days to develop immunity to the virus.
The injected flu vaccine cannot give you the virus, but some people are concerned with the preservative Thimerosal. It’s a mercury-based preservative used in some formulations.
The Food and Drug Administration says it has “worked with, and continues to work with, vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal from vaccines.”
Dr. Diven says the health center has single and multi-dose vaccines. The single does not have thimerosal. The multi-dose has trace amounts.
“Well, we recommend it…especially in people…such as asthma…kidney failure…things of that sort…we recommend it just because it’s such a miserable disease.”
A shortage on campus means students wanting the vaccine will likely have to find it at a local pharmacy or their family doctor.