LIMA — There is no shortage of the flu vaccine as has been the case in years past. Despite the ample supply, however, the number of people opting to receive the vaccine through the Allen County Health Department is down, officials said.
Becky Dershem, the health department’s director of nursing, told the county health board on Friday the number of vaccinations is down by as much as one-third.
“We are seeing people still continuing to come in,” Dershem said. “We’re not seeing the volumes we’re used to. We do see an increase when the media talks about vaccines but we’re about a third of the numbers we saw in the past.”
Dershem said the decline doesn’t necessarily mean fewer people are getting vaccinated. With more locations, such as pharmacies and physician offices, having a supply, people are getting the vaccine elsewhere, she said.
County health officials anticipated the decline and ordered less supply than in years past, Dershem said. Despite the decrease, there is still a demand for the vaccine in health department clinics.
“Our decision to purchase a small amount was a good decision this year,” she said. “We’ve really limited our financial liability by doing it this way.”
Getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid getting ill as the heart of the flu season approaches, Dershem said.