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FOR RELEASE: November 29, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

More Flu Vaccine Delivered to County Health Departments

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced today it has received an additional 50,250 doses of flu vaccine this week that will be shipped immediately to local county health departments around the state.

This shipment, combined with previous vaccine deliveries, brings the number of doses received thus far to 117,750 of the state health department's 250,000 dose order, or about 47 percent of the total doses ordered for this flu season.

Health officials say the additional doses will enhance current efforts to vaccinate individuals who are at greatest risk for serious illness or death from influenza, including:

  • persons 65 years of age or older;
  • residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities that house persons of any age with chronic medical conditions;
  • children and adults who have chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, including asthma;
  • children and adults who have chronic metabolic illnesses, including diabetes;
  • persons aged 6 months to 18 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and therefore might be at risk for developing Reye syndrome after influenza;
  • women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season; and
  • health care workers and others who care for persons at risk for influenza complications.

After high risk individuals are covered, special efforts will be made to vaccinate persons aged 50 to 64 who are not included in the high risk group. Vaccination for healthy adults may occur in December as vaccine is available.

The state health department's flu surveillance system has reported sporadic “flu-like” illness in the state, however, none of the cultures sent by physicians to the health department laboratory have been confirmed as influenza.

Health officials continue to recommend pneumococcal vaccine for persons who are 65 years of age or older, or persons who have heart or lung problems or diabetes. This vaccine protects against pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common type of pneumonia resulting in hospitalizations. Pneumococcal vaccine is available at physicians' offices and county health departments.


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