“Because of influenza vaccine distribution delays or vaccine supply shortages have occurred nationally here the last five flu seasons, the CDC has recommended that we prioritize high risk groups until late October,” said William Hacker, M.D., public health commissioner.
“We do not yet know whether there will be a vaccine shortage this season,” Hacker added.
This year, the CDC has broken the high risk groups into tiers, based on the amount of risk each group has for serious complications related to the flu.
Given the uncertainties in doses and distribution this season, the DPH recommends that all Kentucky health care providers follow the CDC guidelines.
According to the guidelines, the following first-tier priority groups should receive the flu vaccine in the order below until October 24, 2005.
Tier 1A, Monday, Oct. 17
Tier 1B, Tuesday, Oct. 18
Tier 1C, Thursday, Oct. 20
The DPH has already asked that local local health departments, including the Grayson County Health Center, to vaccinate on this schedule.
“In addition to flu vaccine, we strongly encourage all adults 65 years or older and others in high risk groups to ask their health care provider about the pneumococcal vaccine, which can help prevent pneumonia, one of the flu’s most serious and deadly complications,” Hacker said.
“This vaccine is extremely safe, effective, and can be taken at any time of the year and is currently available in an adequate supply.”
The Grayson County Health Center at 124 East White Oak Street in Leitchfield will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.
For more information on the 2005-06 flu season, contact the Grayson County Health Center at (270) 259-3141 or visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.-gov/flu/.