In recent years (last year being the exception) we have been able to at least start giving the vaccine over the summer, allowing us to vaccinate at least some of the school aged kids before school even starts. It is especially reassurring to vaccinate the college aged kids before they go back to school, because once they're at school it's hard to ensure that they'll get the vaccine. We missed the opportunity to offer shots at summer physicals last year and it did make a difference. Since schools in our area are starting back up less than a month from now and we haven't heard anything about vaccine shipments, it looks like we'll miss the majority of school aged kids this summer too.
This year we've heard that the FluMist will once again be delayed in shipments. FluMist will not be shipped to distributors until the end of September/beginning of October, and then the distributors will be able to ship the vaccine to everyone nationwide who has ordered it.
Why are the shipments delayed?
There will be three new strains in this year's FluMist, including a more stable version of the type A H1N1. This strain is producing lower yields than expected which is causing the delay.