MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - If you're looking for the new influenza vaccine that covers four flu strains, you may have to search for it.
Since it just debuted to the public this year, only a limited amount was created. The CDC estimates quadrivalent flu vaccines make up about 30 million doses out of the total 135-139 million vaccines available, and some patients are requesting the vaccine.
Several Twin Cities pharmacies KARE 11 spoke with from Elk River to Hopkins tried to order the quadrivalent strain flu vaccine for patients, but couldn't find it in supply.
A flu shot clinic at the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service used the more prevalent trivalent vaccine Monday, which is what they will use to vaccinate 20,000 people on campus.
The clinic also distributed the nasal flu mist, which is a quadrivalent vaccine, with all four strains present.
The CDC doesn't recommend one vaccine over the other.
"The fact it is hard to find is not surprising, I would say don't worry about that, just get vaccinated," said Kris Ehresmann, the Minnesota Department of Health's Director for Infectious Diseases.
Ehresmann says what's most important is cross protection between the A and B flu strains, which are present in both versions. It's just the quadrivalent vaccine has two B strains for broader protection, while the trivalent vaccine has one B strain.
"So getting the trivalent vaccine will likely offer you the same protection as the quadrivalent and I can tell you I got the trivalent and I feel pretty good about it," she said.
At the University of Minnesota, Joan DeJaeghere, a professor of East African studies, received the trivalent vaccine before she traveled internationally. It will be her first flu shot in years, and she believes any protection is helpful.
"I have my inclinations about getting vaccines and I haven't been unhealthy, but I decided this year, why run the risk?" said DeJaeghere.
The CDC says if you are in search of the quadrivalent vaccine, don't delay and call ahead, since the supply is limited, and also realize it may be more expensive.
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