In the past, people have packed local health departments when flu shots become available, usually during the fall. The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department delivers as well, but just to local businesses and industries. Those vaccines come in the form of what are called "private" vaccines, available to those who are not high-risk patients.
"We've had our private vaccine, we ordered it several weeks ago," says Janie Moore, the health department's clinical director. "We had no problem getting it; that's why I don't think there's a shortage this year."
In recent years, the West Virginia Health Department has had a shortage of the vaccine given high-risk patients, including those having medical problems.
Flu shots have been in increasing demand in the past ten years. They're recommended mainly for the very young and the very old.
"It's going to be recommended children get the flu shot beginning at six months of age," Moore says. "It's encouraged this year, but it is not recommended until next year. Which means, hopefully, the state will be able to give us more vaccine, because they say we'll have more people to give the vaccine to."
The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, which covers Wood, Pleasants, Ritchie and Wirt Counties, plans to announce its flu schedule soon. Meanwhile, flu shots will be provided for high-risk Washington County residents beginning next week.
Shots for everyone else will be made available beginning in November. Washington County's health department, 342 Muskingum Dirve, will start giving flu shots Monday, Oct. 14.
Marietta's health department, located at 304 Puthnam Street, will begin its flu shot program on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
They'll be available at both locations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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When to receive the influenza vaccine
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/fluvac.htm ( The Center for Disease Control Vaccine Information Web site)