Health department gets more flu vaccine
By Caroline Trowbridge
A week ago, Leavenworth County's top health official was convinced she'd receive no more flu vaccine this year.
And then she received a shipment.
"It surprised us," said Sylvia Burns, director of the county health department. "It was unexpected. We were hoping we'd get some."
Although Burns won't say exactly how many doses she has on hand, she has scheduled two flu vaccination clinics for the next few days at county locations. And she promises that vaccines will be available at each clinic.
"I'm going kind of by the numbers from clinics last year," she said. "I know there are more people interested, but that's the way we split it up. I was trying to get the areas that we didn't get to."
The health department earlier this fall depleted its supply of flu vaccine, after only one public clinic. At that clinic, people stood in line, oftentimes letting members of priority groups move to the front. Priority groups to receive flu shots this year include the very old, the very young and people with chronic health problems.
The clinics will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the Basehor-Linwood High School in Basehor and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 19 at the St. Lawrence Church in Easton.
Burns said that at the upcoming clinics, she hopes to avoid people standing in long lines, only to be disappointed when supplies run out.
"We'll hand out numbers when people get to the doors," she said. "That way, people won't be standing for hours."
It seems doubtful, Burns said, that her department will receive any future vaccine shipments.
"I think this is it," she said. "When this is gone, it's gone.
According to health department officials, these people are in priority groups for the flu vaccine:
¢ All children who are between 6 months and 23 months old. Children who are 3 and younger require a doctor's note.
¢ Adults who are 65 years and older.
¢ People between the ages of 2 and 64 with underlying chronic medical conditions.
¢ All women who will be pregnant during the influenza season.
¢ Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
¢ Children between the ages of ages of 6 months and 18 years who are on long-term aspirin therapy.
¢ Health-care workers involved in direct patient care.
¢ People who have contact with anyone in a high-risk group, including parents or other people who have close contact with children who are 6 to 23 months or with senior citizens.