Flu vaccine easier to get this season - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Flu vaccine easier to get this season

Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist
Angela McHugh Angela McHugh

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

Flu season officially starts October 1 and pharmacies like Target are already busy given flu vaccines.

This year there are various changes from last year's big H1N1 scare.  Now the pandemic status has been dropped and last year only high priority people got the vaccine first because of a shortage, but this year anybody six months and older can get the shot anytime.

"We've been assured through our various channels from the federal level and liaisons with the manufacturers that there should be enough supply for everyone," said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist.

Also last year you needed to get separate shots for the seasonal flu and H1N1.  This year they've been combined.

"I know last year was a bit of a headache trying to figure out when you could go get this vaccine or that vaccine and needing both of them and this year you just go and get one flu vaccine," explained Dr. Park.

"The seasonal flu shot is what scientists believe is going to be three major strains this year that are going to cause the flu so the H1N1 is a concern so they put it in the seasonal flu this year," said Angela McHugh, Target Executive Pharmacist.

It's also easier to find the shots with more doctors and pharmacies offering them.

"Patients can walk right up to the pharmacy, its great pharmacists can do this now, it's a great service to guests," said McHugh.

The Target in Salt Lake is averaging about 10 flu vaccines a day and they encourage more to get the painless procedure.

"Absolutely, we're well trained pharmacists here at Target," said McHugh.

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