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Flu Vaccine Now Available for New High-Risk Group

Flu Vaccine Now Available for New High-Risk Group

Posted - Nov. 5, 2004 at 4:49 p.m.



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Ed Yeates ReportingAfter evaluating flu vaccine supplies for the past four weeks, State Health says there's enough in reserve now to make shots available for one more layer of high-risk people. But there's still not enough - nor will there be - for the healthy population.

If you are healthy, but caring for someone at home who is chronically sick, you are now eligible for a flu shot.

Linda Abel, Immunization Program Manager, UDOH: “The wife may be caring for a husband with cancer. A wife may be caring for someone who has severe heart disease or kidney disease or something like that.”

In addition to this added high risk group, State Health's Linda Abel says there are still many people with chronic illnesses who should have already gotten their shots, but haven't because they feel guilty - preferring to defer to someone who is sicker then they are.

Linda Abel: “At this point there is adequate amounts of vaccine that these people, because we are coming up to flu season, need to have protection for themselves and need to come in and get the vaccine and not feel bad about it.”

For the rest of us still not eligible for the shots, supplies of flu mist which can be sprayed into the nose will be coming in within the next two weeks. Some flu mist, already at the Tooele County Health Department, is available to healthy folks five to 49 years of age. Additional supplies will soon be available at the Bear River, Davis, Salt Lake Valley, Southeast, Summit, Tri-County and Utah County health departments.

Some insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, have already agreed to reimburse for the more expensive flu mist dispersed at private clinics.

Fortunately, the flu bug as not officially hit yet. When it does, the health department wants sick people to stay home. And all us should continue washing our hands.

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