Jed Boal Reporting“It's a busy time of year. We prepare for several months in advance, getting supplies ready, hiring temporary employees to help us with a massive flu immunization program."
The flu season last year caught many people off guard. We'll see if people learned a lesson the hard way. While it still feels like summer is hanging on in Utah, it's not too early to start planning for the flu season.
Last year flu season arrived two months early and hit hard. It was here by Halloween, and that's when many people decided to get a flu shot.
Rossi Gunter got her first every flu-shot today. So did her big sister Isabella. The girls may be very sore right now, but the flu shot is likely to keep them healthy when the flu arrives in the coming months.
Dr. John Menello, M.D. First Med Clinic: “At some time the flu virus is going to hit us. It's a question of where and how hard."
Last year November and December were bad months as the flu knocked out several thousand people. More people decided they wanted vaccines and supplies were tested.
Cheryl Young, Clinic Supervisor for Immunizations: “We had days where we had to pull in all of our staff. We had eight or nine nurses at a time giving flu shots. Normally we have one or two."
More babies, more children, more of everyone. People were desperate to get shots. If that's any indication for this year, clinics should be busy in the coming weeks.
Dr. John Menello: “If the shots are performed early there's less missed days of work as well as less severity of the illness."
Community nursing services will give 50-60 thousand flu shots throughout the community during the next six to eight weeks. It's their busiest time of year, and they've been preparing for it for months.
Cheryl Young, Supervisor for Immunizations: “Order vaccine, schedule clinics. It's busy, but we're ready to go."
It's too early to tell whether availability will be an issue this year.
Dr. John Menello: “The community as a whole is beginning to respond to this too because they don't want to have the whole family affected, because it spreads very quickly."
The State Health Department will come out with some recommendations Tuesday.