UPDATE: As of Wednesday, Oct. 22, Sandra Nielsen, RN, flu clinic coordinator, reports that Carle has received its shipment of nasal flu mist vaccine. If you have any questions about getting a flu vaccine or need information about Carle flu clinics, please see www.carle.org/flu
If you were planning to take your child to get the FluMist nasal spray vaccine at Carle or Christie Clinic anytime soon, you’re going to have to wait a little bit.
Both Flu Clinics are experiencing a FluMist shortage, and while a new supply is expected to be delivered at the end of October, one Carle nurse says she can’t say it’s a guarantee.
FluMist is a nasal spray vaccine that can be given to patients 2-49 years old. The CDC recently released a recommendation stating the FluMist was actually more effective in flu prevention for children 2-8 years old who qualify. And many parents prefer it, especially if they have shot-averse children.
According to Sandra Nielsen, a nurse and Flu Clinic Coordinator at Carle Clinic, the delay is on the manufacturer’s side.
“While there is not a national shortage, the distribution of the vaccine has been extremely slow this year,” Nielsen said. “I’m told it’s sitting waiting to be approved.”
Nielsen said the expected date of delivery is the week of Oct. 22; however, she said Carle representatives have been unable to reach the manufacturer to confirm that date.
“I have no guarantees on a date on nasal mist. The distribution people have not answered our phone calls,” Nielsen said. “We’re doing everything we can to get our nasal mist in.”
According to Nielsen, Carle has given 17,000 flu shot vaccines and 610 nasal spray vaccines so far this flu season. They have ordered a total of 3,500 nasal spray vaccines.
Nielsen said Carle still has the flu shot vaccine available and recommends people go ahead and get the shot rather than wait for the nasal spray vaccine. However, she realizes a lot of people will opt to wait, especially if it’s for a child who is anxious about getting a shot.
Jenna Shedenhelm, Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Christie Clinic, said they are also experiencing a backlog of the FluMist vaccine due to a “shortage from the manufacturer.”
Shedenhelm says they expect to have a full supply at the end of October.
Christie Clinic currently has a limited quantity of the flu shot vaccine for children six months and older and are expecting more of that vaccine in the shipment later this month.
Nielsen said nasal spray vaccines are currently available at Walgreens and the Champaign Urbana Public Health District confirmed they have the FluMist vaccine available.
We spoke with the Walgreens on 1713 W. Springfield Ave in Champaign and they confirmed that Walgreens locations in Champaign-Urbana do have the FluMist vaccinations. However, they only give FluMist to children ages 10 and up. The cost of FluMist at Walgreens is $40.00.
A schedule of Carle and Christie Walk-In Flu Clinics can be found here.