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More flu vaccine released

Donna Gray

Word has come down from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that flu vaccinations can now be made available to persons older than 50 years of age.Garfield County Public Health Nurse Mary Meisner said the shots are available by appointment at the Rifle and Glenwood Springs offices. An open clinic will be scheduled soon, she said.”We encourage people to come in and get a shot. It’s definitely not too late. In fact, this is a good time, just before Christmas, with groups getting together and people traveling,” she said.Flu season is not under way in the county yet, Meisner said. “We’ve had no lab-confirmed cases at this point. We do have confirmed cases in the state of Colorado, both A and B (strains).”Flu usually strikes hardest “after the holidays after you’ve had people coming to our area from different parts of the country,” Meisner said.Meisner got the green light from CDPHE and the Centers For Disease control Thursday.”We got the go-ahead from CDPHE to expand the at-risk group to people 50 and over, so those people can now have the vaccine. We’ve been waiting for this,” she added.Because of a shortage of flu vaccinations earlier this year, shots were available only to high-risk people such as the elderly, the very young and the chronically ill. Chiron, based in Liverpool, England, won a multistate contract to provide vaccine for the Untied States this year but produced less than was ordered because of contamination problems.Garfield County was better off than some counties, however, receiving 3,500 doses, three-quarters of its annual allocation, Meisner said.Garfield County was better off than some counties, however, receiving 3,500 doses, three-quarters of its annual allocation, Meisner said.


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