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More flu vaccine available

Additional doses of flu vaccine, both shots and nasal mist, are available at the Harrison County Health Dept., following a new limited supply received last week.
‘I don’t want them to go to waste,’ said Marilyn Sauerheber of the health department.
She said she could vaccinate people ‘all day’ today (Wednesday).
Sauerheber recommends people call 738-3237 to schedule an appointment. (The health department, located at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon, will be closed Friday because of New Year’s Eve.)
On Monday, Sauerheber said she has called people who have been on a waiting list for the hard-to-come-by vaccines.
The shortage this year came after one of just two manufacturers of the flu vaccine in the world, Chiron Corp., had its license temporarily suspended due to contaminated vaccines. That left Aventis Pasteur, the other manufacturer, distributing an estimated 55.4 million vaccines, including about one million more than it originally had planned to make.
Last year, 1,000 Hoosiers died of influenza.
The Harrison County Health Dept. received 50 doses of FluMist, as well as 100 doses of the injection version of the vaccine.
The FluMist came from the state health department.
‘I sure would like to use these,’ she said. ‘No one’s had any trouble with them, that I know of.’
Because Sauerheber got them free, there will be no charge for them.
FluMist is recommended for persons age five to 49, she said.
‘I do have to charge for the flu vaccine,’ Sauerheber said. ‘We can’t bill Medicare.’ It costs $10.
Last week’s shipment of vaccines is the third round the county health department has received since October. Sauerheber ordered 800 doses last March. To date, she’s gotten close to 50 percent of what she needed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following persons be vaccinated:
* Adults 65 and older
* Children six months to 23 months
* Persons with chronic diseases
* Women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy
* Healthy people, especially health-care workers, who might transmit the flu to at-risk people
* Anybody who lives in a chronic-care facility
Like other serious respiratory illnesses, influenza is spread by coughing and sneezing and unclean hands. Persons should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. When a tissue is not available, they should use their sleeve, not their hands. Discard used tissues promptly and wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
Persons who have the flu should stay home from work or school so as not to infect others.
Sauerheber said the end of the season to get a flu vaccine is nearing but still recommends persons take advantage of being vaccinated.
‘The CDC is still urging everyone to get it if it’s available,’ she said, adding that February is often the most likely time of year for persons in this area to get the flu.

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