100 Million Flu Shots to be Delivered This Flu Season

Unlike the supposed flu shot shortage in 2004, which, ironically turned into a surplus by the end of the season, this year officials are reporting that a record supply of flu shots will be available. Overall, more than 100 million doses should be available in the next several months -- 5 million more doses than were manufactured in 2002.

Among the flu vaccines coming out this year are GlaxoSmithKline's FluLaval, which is expected receive FDA approval shortly, and would raise the total available U.S. doses to 110 million. MedImmune Vaccines will also be distributing FluMist, which carries a chance of causing flu symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends flu shots for about 73 percent of the U.S. population, including healthy children ages 6 months to 5 years old, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and the list goes on. But to protect your health and the health of those you love, please learn the facts -- and real risks -- of the flu vaccine before deciding to get vaccinated, and review my alternatives to the flu vaccine for methods to avoid the flu safely and effectively.

USA Today September 6, 2006