Thursday, Dec. 23


Health department expands priority groups for flu vaccine     Send a link to a friend

[DEC. 23, 2004]  On Wednesday the Logan County Health Department announced an expanded list of priority groups eligible to receive inactivated influenza vaccine this flu season. Effective Monday, Dec. 27, the priority groups for inactivated influenza vaccine will include adults age 50-64 and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of people in high-risk groups.

People in the high-risk groups for serious complications from influenza include individuals age 65 years or older, children less than 2 years old, pregnant women and people of any age who have certain underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease, are transplant recipients, or have AIDS.

In response to this season's vaccine shortage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously recommended inactivated influenza vaccine for all children 6-23 months, adults 65 years and older, people 2-64 years old 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 6 months to 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy, health-care workers involved in direct patient care, and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than 6 months old.

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"We encourage all individuals in the priority groups to be vaccinated," said Mark Hilliard, administrator of the health department.

"Influenza activity has been low so far this season," said Mary Anderson, R.N., chief communicable disease nurse at the health department. "However, it is still early, and the timing and level of influenza activity is unpredictable and can change at any time." Currently only sporadic flu activity has been reported in Illinois.

Beginning Monday, flu vaccine will be available at the health department, 109 Third St., during normal clinic hours, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

[Logan County Health Department news release]

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