Flu Vaccination Update

10/08/2004

Contributed by Teresa Hradisky

The likely US shortage of influenza vaccine this season has prompted local, state, and federal health agencies to revise their guidelines for immunization. Ithaca College obtains its flu vaccine from a different manufacturer than the one whose vaccine shipments have been suspended, and our supply has been unaffected by the shortage. However, we believe we must revise our eligibility criteria for vaccination in accordance with health department recommendations, for now at least, in order to preserve what might be a scarce vaccine for those with the greatest need.

We are still scheduling individual appointments for flu shots, and will proceed with the first of our scheduled vaccination clinics on Tuesday, October 12, but we will only be able to administer vaccine to individuals who are in the following higher risk groups:

These eligibility criteria may change; we hope they will. FDA representatives are apparently in England today, trying to determine if any of the impounded vaccine supply can be safely released for shipment to the US. If the shortage ends, we would probably have enough flu vaccine to proceed with our usual vaccinations of anyone who wishes to receive them.

Meanwhile, please bear with us in the interest of Public Health and attend Tuesday's Vaccine Clinic only if you are in one of the higher risk groups listed previously.

David E Newman MD

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