People worried about flu vaccine shortage - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

People worried about flu vaccine shortage

August 19, 2004

Albany -- The Dougherty County Health Department has received a number of requests from people for flu vaccines recently. They were told no, because it's too early for a flu shot.

The refrigerator where the Dougherty County Health Department keeps it's flu vaccines is empty. Health workers have been amazed the number of callers asking for flu shots. Immunization Coordinator Suzette Profit said "They want to make sure they are first in line to get the vaccine. To make sure the supply doesn't run out."

No shortage of flu vaccine is expected this fall, but past shortages have people worried. The health department will not begin giving flu shots until October, closer to flu season. Profit said "Peaks around December to February, and there is ample time to start getting the vaccine in October."

Health workers are very glad to report that no one in South Georgia died from the flu last year, and the number of flu cases was down. They credit the effectiveness of the flu shot program for that success. Profit said "The more people come out and get the flu vaccine, the lower the number going to be of diagnosed cases of flu."

There was a shortage of flu vaccine the last three years, but no shortages are expected in 2004.

Health workers recommend that babies and toddlers over the age of 6 months, and anyone over the age of 50 get a flu shot.

posted at 4:35 PM by jimw@walb.com

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