Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Fake Scarcities


10
Flu Vaccine
A sign advertises flu shots at a Manhattan pharmacy during the 2013 flu epidemic. Despite media reports to the contrary, flu shots were readily available. Mario Tama/Getty Images
A sign advertises flu shots at a Manhattan pharmacy during the 2013 flu epidemic. Despite media reports to the contrary, flu shots were readily available. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get an annual flu shot, it's easy to believe that a rush on the vaccinations could lead to a shortage by the time flu season hits full swing [source: Reuters]. But health officials and vaccine producers have been ahead of the curve in recent years, even when the virus starts its assault ahead of time [sources: Doyle, Pamer].

Each year, vaccine-makers produce flu shots in August, well in advance of the cold months in which the virus tends to rear its ugly head. Most people are vaccinated in the fall, meaning that less of the vaccine is typically available by season's end. Even if some pharmacies have a shortage of the vaccine, others in the area are bound to have it. There's even a government Web site to tell you where you can find it. A total of 145 million vaccines were created for the 2012-13 flu season and some 16 million doses remained available in the U.S. in late January 2013, which experts say is par for the course [sources: Doyle, Pamer].


More to Explore