Some good flu news for once

Our community and many areas of the country are finally seeing a decline in influenza activity. Reason is likely a combination of immunity from those that have recovered from flu as well as slowly growing immunization efforts. Demand on our office is definitely decreasing and our access is improving. We are seeing shorter hold times and better appointment availability.

Reports of flu activity can be seen at "CDC Flu activity":http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ and "Google Flu Trends":http://www.google.org/flutrends. The CDC data lags the Google graphs as it is based on surveillance in offices and hospitals while the Google estimates are based on internet search queries.

H1N1 influenza vaccine continues to trickle in. Last week we received the greatest number of doses in a week (about 600). We are quickly giving those out to scheduled appointments and working through wait list. We anticipate another 200 doses this week and will schedule off the wait list as soon as those doses have arrived. We hope our new system is working better for you, reducing anxiety and time spent on the phone. We will call each person off the wait list when vaccine comes in. We are unable to estimate when your child's name will come to top of wait list since the vaccine supply is sporadic so be we appreciate your patience.

Seasonal flu vaccine continues to be unavailable across the country. We had been expecting some in November but are now being told may not be until January or February. The manufactures shifted production to H1N1 flu vaccine to meet demand, reducing and delaying seasonal flu vaccine. We are not scheduling seasonal flu vaccine or taking wait list for seasonal vaccine since we don't anticipate any dosages for the next several weeks.

Google has created a resource to find locations for influenza vaccine: "Google Flu shot":http://google.com/flushot