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October 07, 2004

UT Flu Shots Gone

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

From the University e-mail today.

The UHS flu vaccine order was placed with Chiron, the flu vaccine manufacturer whose license to manufacture the vaccine has been suspended. Chiron's license suspension means that the 46 - 48 million doses of flu vaccine they were expecting to ship to the US will not be available. Because of this, UHS currently has no flu vaccine and we have cancelled all previously-scheduled flu shot outreach clinics for the month of October.

UHS is now on a waiting list with Aventis (the second of the two flu vaccine manufacturers) for potential future receipt of the vaccine, but we're currently unable to tell you with certainty if and when we will receive vaccine or if vaccine will be restricted in any way.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that existing vaccine be given to certain "priority groups" - those who are at higher risk of complications if they get the flu and healthcare providers. To ensure that this happens, the CDC is requesting that people defer getting a flu shot unless they are in one of these groups. If you fall into a priority group, we encourage you to find a healthcare provider or other community resource with flu vaccine and get your flu shot now.

For a definition of priority groups, information on where to get a flu shot if you're in a priority group and information on cold and flu prevention, go to the "Spotlights" section of the UHS website at http://www.utexas.edu/student/health . Another helpful prevention resource is the CDC's Germstoppers website at http://www.cdc.gov/germstopper/resources.htm.

We will post any changes in the availability of flu shots at UHS on our website.

Priority Groups are as follows....

+All children aged 6 – 23 months of age
+Adults aged 65 years and older
+Persons aged 2 – 64 years of age with underlying chronic medical conditions such as asthma and other lung diseases, compromised immune systems, diabetes, heart disease, blood disorders, etc.
+Women will be pregnant during the influenza season
+Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
+Children aged 6 months – 18 years of age who are on chronic aspirin therapy
+Health-care workers involved in direct patient care
+Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than 6 months of age.

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at October 7, 2004 07:12 PM | TrackBack


I hope that this is not the year we see a return of the strain which produced the "Spanish flu"
pandemic of 1918.

Think of an AIDS epidemic which is spread far more easily, is particularly virulent in young adults, and kills in days.
86 years after the original outbreak, we still have few defenses against it.

Posted by: Tim Z. at October 7, 2004 08:00 PM

Harris County is out too.

Posted by: Jim D at October 7, 2004 09:27 PM

"See what happens when you outsource drugs. This will happen again with Canadian drugs too"

Guldarned right!
We Americans DEMAND to pay several times more for our pharmaceuticals than folks in countries with similar standards of living and testing procedures.

Never mind that Chiron was a US company operating in the only other significant member of the so-called "coalition of the willing".

Oops, I forgot about Poland...
...and the Republic of Palau.

Posted by: Tim Z. at October 8, 2004 07:16 PM
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