Limited flu vaccines available

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

Flu season is only half over and with the changing temperatures outside, it's no wonder that people are in need of the vaccine. The Alabama Department of Public Health in a release stated Tuesday that all county health departments should have the vaccine available to the public while supplies last.

Two types of vaccine are available in small amouts to those in greatest need. There are two forms available through the Covington County Health Department, an injectable form and an intranasal form for healthy children and adults aged 5 through 49.

The Covington County Health Department said they have a limited supply of both vaccines available and are giving the vaccine to those who have been on a waiting list. They are unsure as to whether or not they will have enough vaccine for the general public after finishing the waiting list.

The Alabama Department of Public Health stated that infection with influenza viruses can result in severe illness and life threatening complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 10 to 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu each year. An average of 114,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications and 36,000 Americans die each year from complications of flu.

Health officals stated that it appears the outbreak may be subsiding, but there is a chance of a second wave of influenza may strike before the season ends.

This may be the last opportunity for many children and adults to be immunized against influenza this season. It is recommended that anyone planning to travel to the southern hemisphere should seriously consider being immunized for influenza before leaving the US.

Please contact the local county health department for information about vaccine availability and clinic times.