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franklin county times

Flu shots limited to high-risk patients

By Staff
Jonathan Willis FCT Staff Writer
With the coldest temperatures of the season so far expected in our area Thursday and Friday, it is a reminder that winter is just around the corner.
With the colder temperatures usually comes the flu season. This year, however, the number of people who can take preventive measures to fight the flu will be limited.
Only those who meet certain high-risk factors of severe complications from the flu will be able to take vaccinations because of a severe shortage of the vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued interim recommendations for those who are at the highest risk and most in need of the vaccinations. The priority groups who are most in need are as follows: all children ages six to 23 months, adults 65 years and older, anyone two to 64 years old with underlying chronic medical conditions, all women who will be pregnant during flu season, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, children six months to 18 years of age who are on chronic aspirin therapy and health care workers with direct patient care, and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than six months old.
The Alabama Department of Health is working with physicians, pharmacists and other vaccine providers state-wide to make sure that people at the highest risk level will have access to the vaccinations.
Dr. Karen Landers, the health officer for this area, said that she hopes to know soon what she will have to work with.

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