The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is reporting strong demand for the flu vaccine this year, and said the supply is abundant despite shipment delays in some locations across the state.

Pejman Talebian, Director of the Immunization Division for the Department of Public Health said DPH will be supplying, “more than 1.2 million doses of flu vaccine this year compared to approximately 900,000 doses annually over the last several years.”

Gov. Charlie Baker has mandated flu shots for all students, and has emphasized the importance of other Massachusetts residents getting flu shots to prevent overlapping surges of flu and cornoavirus cases this fall.

The DPH said there have been some delays in shipment of vaccines from certain manufacturers for both state-supplied and privately purchased vaccines, but the state expects supplies improving in the coming weeks and anticipates enough supplies to meet the demand.

"From national reports, we are aware that the flu manufacturers are making more vaccine this year than in any prior year," Talebian said.

A spokesperson for CVS Pharmacy and Minute Clinic said the nationwide chain has a substantial inventory and is prepared to administer 18 million flu shots this flu season. When asked about supply and demand, CVS said “We have ample supply of vaccine on hand and are not currently experiencing or anticipating widespread shortages for the months when demand for the flu shot is at its peak. “

Walgreens issued a similar response saying with the COVID-19 pandemic driving greater consumer awareness and desire to be protected this flu season, they’ve seen early increase in customer demand. Walgreens said demand for flu, pneumonia and other immunizations could be as much as 30-50 percent higher this season.

Dr. Karl Laskowski, associate chief medical officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said October is the ideal time to get a flu shot and to meet the high demand for people seeking a flu vaccine, they've opened 16 flu clinics in the Boston area.

“Certainly, more demand than we initially anticipated which is great,” Laskowski said.

Laskowski pointed to the recent surge in virtual or telehealth appointments as the main dilemma. “A lot of work in trying to figure out how we creatively meet that demand, but no real concerns about not having enough vaccine, just how do we get it to the people.”

The health department says there is a high-dose vaccine available for those ages 65 and older. The flu vaccine is available at no cost through most insurance plans.