Alabama
8:24 am
Fri October 15, 2004

State Health Officials Could Redistribute Flu Vaccine

Montgomery, AL – The state health department is developing a plan to get out the flu vaccine to people who most need it. State Health Officer Don Williamson says the agency will survey seven thousand doctors, hospitals, assisted living centers and pharmacies to see how many vaccines they've received and how many they still need to vaccinate high-risk patients. The health department then plans to work with the medical community to try to shift the vaccines to where they're most needed. Williamson says the state health department has so far received 60-thousand adult doses. That's less than half its normal supply. And Williamson says rather than those doses all going to county health offices, this year...some will go to areas with the worst shortages. Williamson says county health offices should begin having flu vaccine clinics in late October or early November. Shots will be limited to those most at risk, including people 65 or older, anyone with a chronic condition, and health care workers who care for high-risk groups. Williamson says the health department also ordered 125-thousand vaccines for children.