Shutdown slows CDC as pharmacies prepare for flu season

KNOXVILLE, Tenn, (WVLT)- The government shutdown is slowing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it can't stop the flu season.

Without the CDC helping track the virus, it could run rampant.

This year it's more important than ever to get your vaccine.

Without the CDC's monitoring system, keeping the virus from spreading is going to be up to you.

Tara Moore is the Director for Patient Care at Belew Drugs she says they're ready for flu season with or without the CDC.

"You won't see some of the perifial things that they offer, advertising, reminders things like that," she says.

And the FluView, a weekly report of outbreaks when and where they happen.

Moore says there's no shortage of vaccines.

"Making the flu vaccine available, making immunizes like ourselves available on a walk in basis. To be able to walk in and get a flu shot when you want it, that's the most important thing locally," she says.

Vaccines provided by the government were ordered months ago, but one worry is that a new strain of the bug will pop up during the shutdown.

Luckily, the peak flu season isn't until after the first of the year and Moore says they're doing their part now, reminding people to get vaccinated.

"The Influenza and Pneumococcal Pneumonia combined are still the eight leading cause of death in this country, still, this is 2013. Still the 8eighth leading cause of the death in this country. Both are vaccine preventable illnesses so, it is so important."

It's up to everyone to do their part.

"The information that the CDC gives is always valuable and is so important, however, not having that information doesn't do anything to stop anyone from getting their flu shot," she says.

You can call your local pharmacy to see if they carry the vaccine.

Moore says Belew Drugs can come to you if you're unable to get to them.

Most local pharmacies also carry the vaccine.

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