More Idahoans seeking flu vaccine

POSTED: 01:50 PM MST Jan 30, 2013    UPDATED: 01:47 AM MST Jan 12, 2013 

Shortages of the flu vaccination shot and nasal spray are occurring all over the country, but how is eastern Idaho looking in its supply with the vaccine?

So far both the Eastern and Southeast Idaho Public Health Districts have the vaccine and nasal spray well stocked. Redicare in Idaho Falls is also supplied with the flu shot. And it's a good thing, as more and more eastern Idahoans are making the trip to get the vaccine.

"I just didn't want to take the chance," said Isaac Shepard, father to 4-year-old Rose.

For Shepard, it was an easy decision to bring Rose into Eastern Idaho Public Health District to get the nasal spray flu vaccine.

"She's been sick a lot this year, and I just didn't want her to catch the flu," said Shepard.

And with a quick little spray up both nostrils, Rose is now more protected from the flu.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have received the flu vaccination this year, 62 percent have shown no signs of flu like symptoms.

In Idaho, the eight death-related cases have occurred in people ages 50 and older. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't get the shot if you're younger than 50.

"Whether or not you are a healthy individual or you have a compromised immune system, you still should get the shot because maybe you might spread the flu to someone you know or to a loved one," Mike Taylor, surveillance epidemiologist for the Eastern Idaho Public Health District.

Influenza is a respiratory illness. With coughing or sneezing, flu germs can be spread through the air.

But if you're looking to get the shot soon, be aware. According to Dr. Jeff Thompson at Redicare, your body has to build up antibodies to fight the disease.

"Once the vaccine is on board, it's variable, it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to set in," said Thompson.

The CDC says flu season doesn't reach its peak for another few weeks. The hope is that this strain will begin to taper off as more people get their flu shots.