County supply of flu shots delayed until end of month
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Though flu season is in mid-swing, many Shelby County residents may have to wait a few more weeks to be vaccinated.
The State Department of Public Health has received only about 17 percent of the doses ordered for Alabama&8217;s county health departments.
The vaccines that have made it to the state have been shipped to areas already battling flu outbreaks &045; Dale, Henry, Houston, Mobile and Walker counties.
Public Health Officials expect to receive most of the state&8217;s vaccinations by the end of November. In the mean time, health officials are advising those highly susceptible to catching the virus to get the shot from private doctors.
&8220;We are strongly encouraging those with a high risk of developing influenza too see their private physicians,&8221; said Eleanor Davis, who is the Student Health Services director at the University of Montevallo.
Davis said people in high-risk groups should receive the vaccination right away. Those most susceptible to the flu include people with:
-Chronic heart or lung disease
-Impaired immune system
Also young children and pregnant women and women who plan to be pregnant this winter should be vaccinated early in the flu season.
For everyone else, Davis said the delay shouldn&8217;t be a huge problem and that December immunizations are still effective.
&8220;In this area, it isn&8217;t until January and February that the flu first starts to hit,&8221; said Davis.
However, she does recommend anyone traveling outside the Southeast for the holidays to get a shot before leaving.
A schedule of county health department influenza clinics can be found by going to www.adph.org/immunization or by calling 1-800-469-4599