Flu vaccine delay impacting Triad doctors

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A national delay in flu vaccine shipments is affecting doctors’ offices in the Piedmont Triad.

The state and seven different private companies distribute the flu vaccine every year. Right now, there are plenty of state supplied vaccines to go around, which is what Medicaid patients get. Doctors are waiting on some private companies to deliver vaccines for insured patients.

The delay has been attributed to manufacturing problems.

Greensboro Pediatricians is one of many local offices waiting for vaccines.

“We are not sure when it’s supposed to come in. All we know it's delayed. We don't have an exact date yet,” said Dr. Carmen Thomas.

Thomas’ office received plenty of the state supplied vaccine, FluMist, and baby vaccine. However, they are still waiting to get the single-dose preservative free quadrivalent vaccine for people three years old and older, which protects against four different strains of the flu.

“We had to delay those patients, call everybody back and let them know we didn't have that vaccine,” said Thomas.

To make up for the delay, Greensboro Pediatricians placed a last minute order of the trivalent injectable multi-dose vaccine for kids three years old and older.

“It's better to have coverage from three virus strains, rather than coverage from none,” said Thomas.

That’s why Joshua Smith was able to get his flu shot Wednesday.

“It's going to be good. It's going to prevent you from getting sick in the future. Getting it now will help you in the future,” said Smith.