Health Department gets more flu shots

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2004

If you didn't get your flu shot the first time around, the Crenshaw County Health Department is offering you another shot.

Last week, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) received roughly 92,000 extra doses of the influenza vaccine.

"We only got one fourth of the amount that we had wanted before,"Crenshaw/Pike Public Health Department nursing supervisor Pam Williams said. "That amount is still not going to cover all the high-risk people in the state."

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The ADPH is still requesting that all Alabama healthcare providers restrict their supplies of influenza vaccine to those at highest risk of having complications of influenza. Last month, the ADPH announced that their would be a shortage of influenza vaccine after one of the leading manufacturers was shutdown.

"We want to ensure that all available influenza vaccine for this season reaches those individuals at highest risk and healthcare workers who provide their direct care," Dr. Charles Woernle, who serves as assistant state health officer for disease control and prevention, said last month.

Due to the shortage, the ADPH has developed priority groups for vaccinations this season. Those groups include:

– All children aged six to 23 months

– Adults aged 65 years or older

– Persons aged two to 64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions

– All women who will be pregnant during influenza season

– Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities

– Children six month to 18 years of age with chronic aspirin therapy

– Healthcare workers with direct patient care and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged less than six months

The shots will be given on a first come, first serve basis for those individuals eligible with the names beginning with A through K on Nov. 16 and L through Z on Nov. 17.

"Our main goal is to prevent death and hospitalization," Williams said. "High-risk patients are more likely to have that problem if they get the flu."

The department will give 135 shots per day.

"I could give all 135 in the morning," Williams said.