Mid-Michigan Flu Shot Shortage

By: Jeremy Ross
By: Jeremy Ross

Several Mid-Michigan county health departments fear that their supplies of the flu shot will be gone by week's end.

Ingham County’s current Medical Director, Dr. Dennis Jurczak, says they will only give flu shots to those most at risk because of the shortage.

Those individuals include: children six months to 23 months, adults age 50 and older, individuals that are chronically ill and healthcare workers.

Jurczak says their supply of the shot may run out by Wednesday.

Jackson County says they’re down to only a portion of its original supply.

The health departments overseeing Clinton and Eaton Counties both fear that their supplies will be gone by weeks end.

State health officials say there is no additional supply of the flu shot expected.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says the Flu-Mist nasal spray will still be available.

That will provide protection to many, though it costs about three times as much as a traditional flu shot.

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Influenza Vaccine

  • Much of the illness and death caused by influenza can be prevented by annual influenza vaccination.
  • Influenza vaccine is specifically recommended for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications as a result of influenza infection.
  • These high-risk groups are:
    • All people age 65 and older.
    • People of any age with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs or kidneys, diabetes, immunosuppression, or severe forms of anemia.
    • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities housing patients of any age.
    • Women who will be more then three months pregnant during influenza season.
    • Children and teenagers who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who may therefore be at risk for developing Reye syndrome after an influenza virus infection.

  • Overall vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year, depending upon the degree of similarity between the influenza virus strains included in the vaccine and the strain or strains that circulate during the influenza season.

  • Influenza vaccine produced in the United States cannot cause influenza.

  • The only type of influenza vaccine that has been licensed in the United States is made from killed influenza viruses, which cannot cause infection.

When to receive the influenza vaccine

  • In the United States, influenza usually occurs from about November until April, with activity peaking between late December and early March.

  • The optimal time for vaccination of persons at high risk for influenza-related medical complications is during October through November.

  • It takes about 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination for antibody against influenza to develop and provide protection.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/fluvac.htm ( The Center for Disease Control Vaccine Information Web site)


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