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Most seasonal flu vaccine has been distributed, officials say

You may be out of luck if you haven't received your seasonal flu shot, even though the peak of flu season is months away.

State health officials announced Thursday that much of the seasonal influenza vaccine manufactured for this year has been distributed.

"In many cases, seasonal flu vaccine was given as soon as the vaccine arrived, in the months of September and October," said Dr. William Hacker, the state's Public Health Commissioner.

"We currently have a very limited supply left at the health department and will likely be completely out by the end of the week," said Kevin Hall, spokesman for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Some 6,624 shots have been given out in Fayette County so far. A small number of additional doses is coming, he said, but's unclear when. Hall said seasonal flu shots are usually available through his department until March.

Typically, about 1.2 million Kentuckians receive a seasonal flu shot, said Gwenda Bond, spokesman for the Department of Public Health. Some 200,000 additional doses may be coming for the state, she said, but that isn't a large amount considering the demand.

People who are over 65, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions should check with their physicians to see if they have seasonal flu vaccine available.

The increased demand for the seasonal flu shot is thought to be tied to heightened awareness of flu activity because of the focus on H1N1 flu, also called swine flu.

The vaccine against 2009 H1N1 is available in limited supply and more is expected to be available as the typical flu season approaches. Local health departments and some private clinics are still providing H1N1 vaccine.

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