:: Sunday, January 30, 2005 ::
Get 'Em If You Want 'Em
Illinois has declared open-season on flu shots.
Illinois has become the latest state to lift its restrictions on the use of flu shots, making vaccinations open to anyone who wants them.
"Local health-care providers have done an outstanding job in making sure those at highest risk of serious illness from influenza were first provided the opportunity to be vaccinated," Dr. Eric Whitaker, state public health director, said Friday.
"It is now appropriate to use what's left of the limited vaccine supply to offer protection to as many people as possible."
The state's action follows a recommendation Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to broaden vaccine use where supply is sufficient.
Vaccine availability varies across Illinois, and those seeking flu shots should check with their doctor or local health department.
So far this season, 1.7 million doses have been shipped to health-care providers in Illinois, Whitaker said. No information is available about how many remain unused.
CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding admitted that the demand for flu vaccine may have peaked, even if the flu season has not.
Flu vaccine has a limited shelf-life and in order to prevent waste, the CDC is freeing up the nation's emergency stockpile of 3.1 million doses.
If you haven't gotten the flu yet, and haven't gotten your shot, now's the time to get one. If you're on campus, I'd suggest calling McKinley before showing up to make sure they still have some. If they don't, my guess is that you could ask for a referral to a local health-care provider that has some.
:: The Squire 2:11 PM :: email this post :: ::