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2004-05 Flu Vaccine Availability

2004-05 Flu Vaccine Shortage

Despite the recent flu vaccine shortage, Sutter County will be offering some vaccines this year. However, they will be restricted to persons fitting in the "high risk" categories. This includes persons with chronic conditions or those over 65 years of age, those caring for small children, pregnant women and several other groups.

The criteria may be relaxed in the near future by the State. If so, this might include those over 50 years of age.

Who should be vaccinated?

The existing flu vaccine supplies should be given to protect people who are at greatest risk from serious complications from influenza disease.

Everyone in this group should seek vaccination:
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • Children ages 6 months to 23 months
  • Adults and children 2 years of age and older with chronic lung or heart disorders including heart disease and asthma
  • Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
  • Adults and children 2 years of age and older with chronic metabolic diseases (including diabetes), kidney diseases, blood disorders (such as sickle cell anemia), or weakened immune systems, including persons with HIV/AIDS
  • Children and teenagers, 6 months to 18 years of age, who take aspirin daily
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
  • Household members and out-of-home caregivers of infants under the age of 6 months (Children under the age of 6 months cannot be vaccinated.)
  • Healthcare workers who provide direct, hands-on care to patients

Who should go without vaccination?

Healthy people 2 to 64 years of age are asked to postpone or skip getting a flu shot this year so that available vaccine can go to protect those at greater risk for flu complications.

What about the nasal vaccine, FluMist©?

FluMist©, the nasal-spray flu vaccine, is an option for healthy individuals, ages 5 to 49 years of age. FluMist© is not recommended for healthcare workers taking care of severely immuno-compromised people when they are in a protective environment and cannot be given to pregnant women.

Who Should Get Antiviral Drugs

For Treatment: If you get sick with flu-like symptoms this season, your doctor first may give you a test to find out whether you have influenza. (Symptoms of flu include: fever (usually high), headache, tiredness, a sore throat and dry cough, nasal congestion, and body aches.) Your doctor also will consider a number of things before making a treatment decision, such as your risk for complications from flu.

For Prevention: In the event of a flu outbreak in a home, institution, or community, your doctor may choose to give antivirals to you as a preventive measure, especially if you are at high risk for complications from the flu. Also, if you are in close contact with someone who is considered at high risk for complications from flu, you may be given antiviral drugs to prevent passing flu to the high-risk person.

What else can you do to prevent the spread of flu?

There are certain good health habits that can help prevent the spread of flu.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from other to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – and dispose of the tissue afterward.
  • If you don’t have a tissue , cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands after you cough or sneeze – with soap and warm water, or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • If you get the flu, stay home from work or school. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

Remember get plenty of sleep, engage in physical activity, manage stress, drink water, and eat good food.