October 6, 2004
Charlotte, NC - Upcoming flu shot clinics at the Mecklenburg County Health Department will focus only on providing the flu vaccine to those at highest risk for developing complications from the flu. The unexpected shut-down of a flu vaccine manufacturer and the resulting vaccine shortage have cut the nation's flu vaccine supply in half, making vaccinating at-risk individuals a priority.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those high-risk groups include:
- All children aged 6 months to 23 months
- Adults 65 and older
- Persons aged 2-64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions
- All women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
- Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
- Children aged 6 months to 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy
- Health-care workers involved in direct patient care
- Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged less than 6 months
Generally healthy people are being asked to not get the flu shot this year to ensure that those at highest risk may have access to the limited supply.
The next regularly scheduled flu shot clinics will be Monday, October 11, 2004 from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the Health Department's northwest campus at 2845 Beatties Ford Road, and Tuesday, October 12, 2004 from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the department's southeast campus at 249 Billingsley Road.
California-based Chiron Corp. announced Tuesday it would not deliver on millions of doses because of problems at its vaccine manufacturing plant in England. The plant's shutdown essentially cut the nation's flu vaccine supply in half.
Of the 10,000 doses of flu vaccine the Health Department has ordered in anticipation of this flu season, 3,000 doses were ordered from Chiron Corp. The Health Department has not received any of those Chiron-made doses. Right now, immunizations staff are working with Aventis - the Health Department's primary supplier - to determine if they are a source for additional doses.
To make certain the public has the most up-to-date information on future flu clinic dates or times, call the Mecklenburg County Health Department Flu Clinic Information Hotline at 704-336-4667 before making a trip to the clinics.