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Health organizations get flu vaccine

November 22, 2000

Health organizations get flu vaccine



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


Enough flu vaccine has arrived in Washington County to provide immunizations at local nursing homes, hospitals and chronic care facilities, Washington County Health Officer William Christoffel said Tuesday.

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"We've gotten 16 percent of our order," Christoffel said. "The nursing homes are in good shape."

The fact that the county's order of 8,000 doses of the vaccine is coming in five separate deliveries this year - instead of one batch like last year - is making it difficult to schedule clinics, especially around the holidays, Christoffel said.

"We expect to have a moderate-sized clinic in mid-December," he said.

Two large clinics probably will be scheduled for late December, one at North Hagerstown High School and another at South Hagerstown High, where 3,000-4,000 doses can be administered, Christoffel said.

The rest of the vaccine would be available to clinics in Hancock and Keedysville, he said.

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Most public health officials hadn't been concerned about an outbreak of influenza before the vaccine arrived, especially since flu season doesn't peak until February.

It takes from 10 days to two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective, officials said.

Health officials suggest flu shots for:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> People 65 and older, people with chronic illnesses and health care workers.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Anyone with asthma, chronic lung and heart ailments, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, blood disorders or immune deficiencies.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Children and teenagers on long-term aspirin therapies and women in the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

The Health Department recommends that pneumococcal vaccinations be given along with flu shots, with the client getting both vaccinations at the flu clinics.

Officials remind senior citizens to bring their Medicare cards and those not covered by Medicare are being asked to make a $7 contribution.

Clinic dates will be announced as soon as more vaccine comes in, Christoffel said.

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