Flu Vaccine Plentiful

With the flu season fast approaching, many people who need flu shots are concerned about reports of a shortage of vaccine.

Dr. Emily Senay, CBS This Morning health and medicine correspondent, says such fears are unnecessary.

Although one of the vaccine's four manufacturers is experiencing a delay in production, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says it expects at least 80 million doses to be available. That's more than enough to go around this fall.

The best time for a flu shot is between late September and mid-November - right before the winter months, when the flu season really hits. But the vaccine can be given at any time, so patients shouldn't worry if they get their shots a little late.

Vaccination is vital for the elderly and for those with chronic illnesses.

If you are concerned that your area may be affected by a localized shortage, call your local or state health department. Officials there can provide information about availability, and even tell you where to go to get your shot.

This year's vaccine is designed to fight against three flu strains. Officials are hoping that other flu strains won't crop up this year as they did last year.

Last year's vaccine did not provide protection against the Sydney strain, which appeared unexpectedly in some areas of the country, particularly California.