National flu shot shortage could impact senior citizens in Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - A shipment delay leads to a flu shot shortage across the nation, and this delay impacts senior citizens the most.

The high-dose flu vaccine is for those 65 years and old.

We are seeing that shortage in Rapid City too with many needing the high-dose flu shot before the flu season officially begins.

The high dose flu shot has four viruses within the vaccine and is recommended for those age 65 and older to add more protection for this often susceptible age group.

The delay is being caused by changes in the flu shot formula, an attempt to match this season's strains.

"Some communities are seeing a shortage or maybe a delay in the high dose vaccine this year, but it should be coming I think for most communities we should be seeing shipment of that particular vaccine coming up this next week, I'm confident that we'll have enough vaccine for our community and for our patients here at Regional Health," said Tyron White, director of infection, prevention, and control at Regional Health Rapid City Hospital.

This just happens to be International Infection Prevention Week and the CDC recommends everyone six months and older get a flu shot by the end of October.

White said Rapid City's flu season usually begins in December and peaks in February.