Advertisement

Flu vaccine to begin arriving here next month

October 07, 2000

Flu vaccine to begin arriving here next month



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


The first shipment of flu vaccinations will arrive in Washington County by mid-November and the remainder are expected in early December, according to a statement from the county health department.

High-risk individuals will be given the vaccinations first.

According to the statement, people considered high-risk include anyone 65 or older, residents of nursing homes and chronic care facilities, anyone with chronic disorders of the pulmonary and cardiovascular system including asthma, those hospitalized in the past year for chronic metabolic diseases including diabetes mellitus, those with renal disease or immunosuppression, those 6 months old to 18 years old receiving long-term aspirin therapy that may put them at risk for developing Reye Syndrome after influenza infection, and women who will be in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the flu season.

Flu vaccinations are also recommended for health care workers, nursing home and assisted-living center employees and people living with someone in the high-risk group, because of their ability to transmit the flu to high-risk individuals.

Advertisement

Flu vaccinations are typically given in October, but County Health Officer William Christoffel said the delay should not cause more people to get sick because the vaccines will still arrive before the flu season begins.

Christoffel said small numbers of people contract the flu in December and January. He said the flu season peaks in February.

The Washington County Health Department will receive all of the approximately 8,000 vaccinations it requested, Christoffel said.

According to the vaccine's manufacturing company, about 5,000 vaccinations will arrive in mid-November and another 3,000 vaccinations will arrive in early December.

Once it is known when the vaccinations will be available, it will be announced, he said.

The primary cause for this year's delay, which is affecting vaccination schedules nationwide, is a slow-growing strain of the flu virus used to produce the vaccine. The vaccine is made of strains of several flu viruses that have been killed.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Berkeley County Health Department in West Virginia said they hope to receive flu vaccine shipments within a month.

Staff writer Dave McMillion contributed to this report.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|