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2002 News from Mecklenburg County
May 30, 2002


Charlotte, NC - The Mecklenburg County Health Department is reminding travelers that there is a shortage of four very important vaccines that may be recommended or required before they begin their trips.

Vaccines for tetanus/diphtheria (Td), diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTaP), measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and Yellow Fever are all in short supply. Some of these vaccine shortages are expected to continue through the end of the year.

The manufacturer of Td and DTaP vaccines is only shipping it to public health departments, urgent care facilities and travel clinics. As long as there are shortages, use of the Td vaccine is limited to: those who need the vaccination for wound treatment, those who have received fewer than three doses of any vaccine containing tetanus and diphtheria, pregnant women who have not had a tetanus update during the previous 10 years, and anyone traveling to "high risk" countries who has not had a tetanus update in the last 10 years.

Infants and children who have not updated their immunization records should do so before they begin travel.

A nationwide shortage of MMR vaccine is expected to last through the summer of this year. North Carolina is not experiencing a shortage of this vaccine. The Health Department gives the MMR vaccine to all children under 18 years of age, refugees, and non-pregnant women of childbearing years who do not have record of the vaccination.

The Yellow Fever vaccine is back-ordered and the manufacturer is limiting distribution. Most governments require this vaccine before travelers can enter the country.

The Health Department's Communicable Disease Control Department urges all travelers to check for specific health requirements in advance of their trip and to plan early, since vaccines can take 10 days or more to develop an adequate immune response.

A link to health information especially for travelers can be found on the Mecklenburg County Health Department's Web site, . There you can find details about outbreaks, diseases and necessary vaccinations. There is also information about avoiding water-borne illnesses, specific health concerns for air travel and cruise ships and for traveling with children or those with special needs.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department can also provide you with information about travel clinics in our area. For more details, call 704-336-6438.

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