BCHD runs out of seasonal flu vaccine

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Barry County Health Department has run out of its supply of seasonal flu vaccine. All 1,300 doses were administered in one month's time from Sept. 1 through Oct. 2.

"We have given out all of our seasonal flu vaccination at this time," said Kathleen King, health department administrator. "Another shipment is expected early in November but that is not guaranteed."

According to King, the local health department ordered 1,800 doses of the vaccine and received 1,300 doses to begin the flu season. The other 500 doses were scheduled to arrive sometime in November, but King doesn't know if those doses will arrive at all due to statewide demand.

The health department has also been placed on a waiting list to receive additional vaccine beyond the 1,800 doses ordered should it become available later in the flu season, which extends through April.

The health department is urging residents to check with their private medical providers and receive the vaccination from them.

According to King, this year's rush to get the flu shot was fueled by all the media coverage concerning the H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu.

"I believe that the media attention around H1N1 has generated concern about flu in general," said King. "It is a good thing that people are getting the vaccine."

The new H1N1 vaccine should be available soon, King said.

This Thursday, Oct. 8, the health department and the Barry County Office of Emergency Management will be co-hosting a public informational meeting on the H1N1 virus from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Crowder College Cassville Campus auditorium at 4020 North Main on Oct. 8.

Representatives from Cox Monett Hospital, St. John's Hospital-Cassville and the Lawrence County Health Department will also be participating.

Topics will include:

* The difference between seasonal and H1N1 influenza.

* Business continuity with the change of high absenteeism due to the flu.

* How to protect the community.

* Cleaning and prevention measures.

"The purpose of these sessions will be to educate members of the community about H1N1 and what they need to do to prevent the spread of the virus," said Kathleen King, Barry County Health department administrator. "It will be geared particularly to businesses, but everyone is invited to attend."

For those who are unable to attend the meeting in Cassville, there will be another meeting held in Monett later in the day. That meeting will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Monett Chamber of Commerce meeting room at 705 E. Broadway.

Those planning to attend either session are asked to e-mail King at kingk@lpha.mopublic.org.

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