Possible Flu Shot Delay?

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Dr. Sienko of the Ingham County Health Department says they ordered 60 percent of their flu vaccines from Chiron. They were supposed to get the shipment in on October 1, but now say it is delayed until mid-October.

He says if the mid-month shipment arrives in time, they won't have problems. However, if it does, he says we could have problems. At this point, he does not anticipate this being a problem.

Other facilities such as the Visiting Nurse Services of Michigan will not be affected at all. Paula Hall of the VNSM says they ordered all their supply from Aventis, another manufacturer. But, she says if the Chiron supply is held back longer than expected and it creates a shortage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may redistribute the vaccinations.

If this happens, she will look at what they have scheduled. People on the list that are not high-risk will be pushed back on the list in order to vaccinate the people who need it most.

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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)