SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Intermountain Health Care Health Plans will provide Utah health agencies with 10,000 flu shots for people at greatest risk of the disease.
The insurance company had intended to use the shots at work site clinics, but people receiving those shots typically were not at the highest risk.
"IHC Health Plans felt that it was important to get the vaccine to those in our communities who are at high risk if they contract the flu," said Eric Cannon, director of IHC Pharmacy Services. "The companies who have had their flu shot clinics canceled have been very understanding and supportive of this effort."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked health care providers to reserve their vaccine for high-risk populations, including the elderly, chronically ill, health-care workers, pregnant women and babies.
The request came after flu-shot maker Chiron Corp. announced it could not ship its 48 million doses after British health officials suspended the maker's license because of contamination problems with the company's Liverpool plant.
The Utah Department of Health is helping IHC Health Plans identify where the vaccines are most needed.
So far, the state health department has documented 10 flu cases, which is typical for this time of year.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)