Advertisement

Flu shots may be delayed

September 18, 2000

Flu shots may be delayed



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Annual flu vaccinations given by the Washington County Health Department will probably be delayed several weeks, outgoing County Health Officer Dr. Robert Parker said Monday.

Parker said he will know for sure by the end of the month whether the vaccinations will be delayed. He said it's possible the county could receive less of the vaccine than requested.

The department had planned to begin offering the vaccinations in the second week of October, he said.

"But at this point all the news indicates the probability is not very likely. ... At best (the vaccinations) will be delayed a couple weeks, maybe a month," Parker said.

In the worst case, the county would receive less vaccine than requested, which could force the department to give the vaccine only to people at "high-risk," he said.

Advertisement

People at high-risk are those 65 and older, people with chronic illnesses and health care workers, Parker said.

Parker said that in 1999 the Health Department supplied about 8,000 doses of flu vaccine, and the department has ordered about the same amount of the vaccine again this year.

The possible delay or vaccine shortage is a nationwide problem, Parker said.

Vaccine makers have been thrown off schedule by a strain of the flu that is harder to reproduce to create the vaccine than expected. Because of that manufacturing problem, fewer doses may be produced, and vaccine shipments are expected to be delayed about a month around the country.

The flu season usually peaks in late December and early March. It takes 1-2 weeks after the shot for one's body to build up resistance to the flu virus.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|