MINNEAPOLIS -- Clinics are expected to begin offering public flu shots in early November, but state health officials want some Minnesotans to wait another month or so before getting their shots.
Health officials are asking that people in high-risk groups -- those over 65 or others with chronic illnesses or immune system problems -- get their immunizations first because doses will be delivered over several weeks. Others should put off getting their shots until December or later, officials said.
"Flu season in Minnesota usually doesn't get fully underway until January, so it's still worthwhile to get a flu shot in December," said Dr. Harry Hull, the state epidemiologist.
Earlier, officials said they were concerned about a possible shortage of the influenza vaccine. While that has been resolved, they expect a delay in delivery of the vaccine to health care providers.
Hull said about 75 million doses of vaccine will be produced this year -- about the same as last year. But he said this year's batch will be spread out over several weeks, making it a priority to immunize those who need it the most.
Priority will also be given to health care workers, family members and others who could expose people in the high-risk group the influenza virus, officials said.
Others at risk include children over six months who have been hospitalized or required medical attention during the past six months.
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