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Regional health officials see drop in flu vax demand


Some areas around the country are reporting that an unprecedented effort to supply the U.S. with an improved flu vaccine is running into a wall of public indifference. Case in point: Dallas/Fort Worth, where health officials say that vaccination numbers have slid 50 percent from last year.

No one knows the precise reason for the sudden falloff, but experts speculate that a mild flu season combined with last year's poorly designed batch of vaccines--which generally failed to match the strains that sickened people--led more people to avoid the jab this season. One health official also said that people may be shunning a shot due to confusion over reports that a common strain of flu this year is resistant to Tamiflu, even though this year's flu shot is much better than we've seen in previous years.

"Each season is different," says Vanassa Joseph, a spokeswoman for Tarrant County Public Health. "We don't know what to factor into it. Maybe some people just have not gotten around to it this year. There's a myriad of reasons for why they may not have gotten the flu shot. But what we do know is that the flu vaccine is the best prevention measure."

- check out the report from the Dallas Morning News

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