County has enough flu vaccine
Here comes the vaccine. While state health officials raise concerns about having enough flu vaccine to inoculate Colorado’s high-risk population, Garfield County public health nurse Mary Meisner said Monday that enough vaccine is available regionally to take care of those at high risk. “We have enough vaccine for those in the high-risk category,” Meisner told Garfield County commissioners at their regular meeting Monday morning. “We received our full federal order for children, which allows any child in the high-risk group to receive a shot. We’re in good shape.”Meisner also said the county should have enough vaccine for seniors. She said the county’s public health office is following recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control in distributing the vaccine (see box, page 3). Regionally, Garfield and Eagle counties received full shipments, though Summit County didn’t.”We didn’t have any orders with Chiron,” she said. Chiron suffered a loss of 48 million vaccine doses due to contamination. Another company, Aventis-Pasteur, has about 22 million doses of vaccine available.County manager Ed Green asked Meisner about protecting the county’s vaccines from theft and black-market sales. “Our supply is locked,” she said. “Even during clinic times, it’s locked.” Assistant county attorney Carolyn Dahlgren asked if the public health office staff members were asking people for verification that they are high-risk, prior to receiving vaccines.Meisner said some children are bringing in slips from their doctors, but for the most part, a verbal verification is all that’s needed.Meisner said Garfield County residents are lucky not to have to wait in long lines to receive vaccinations.”All of us – the county and Valley View, Grand River, Rifle Medical and Glenwood Medical – are all very fortunate to have received our vaccines,” she said. She said once the county’s high-risk population is served, there may be leftover vaccines for others.I’ll be donating my vaccine,” Garfield County Commissioner John Martin said. “I’ve never had one, and I don’t intend to have one this year.”Commissioner Larry McCown agreed he’d forfeit his dose, too. Meisner added that the flu may be prevented without having a flu shot and can be treated with prescription medication if a person gets the flu. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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