County supply of flu vaccine exhausted

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

An early outbreak of the flu combined with several deaths throughout the country has flu vaccine running in short supply throughout the state, including Butler County.

&uot;All I can tell you is that currently we have no flu vaccine available in (Butler) county,&uot; said Sarah Martha Miller, Clinical Nursing Supervisor for the Butler and Covington County Health Departments. &uot;It’s possible we’ll get more, but it will be after the middle of January if we do.&uot;

Miller said the Butler County Health Department has given ‘well over 2,000 flu shots&uot; this flu season, which traditionally runs from December to March, but this year showed up a month early.

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&uot;We’ve had more people come in and request flu shots this year than we have in the past,&uot; Miller said, saying the increase is probably due to a more virulent flu virus, increased media attention and a better informed public.

With local doctor’s offices still overflowing with patients, those wishing to get a flu vaccine have few options.

&uot;I suggest they call their local doctor’s office,&uot; Miller said. &uot;But I’m not aware of any doctor’s offices that have any vaccine.&uot;

Jerry Golden, who manages Stabler Clinic in Greenville, said their supply of injectable vaccine is gone, but that he hopes to have more later this week. He also said the clinic has about a dozen doses of Flumist, an inhaleable flu vaccine that he said is just as effective as a standard flu vaccine.