Seasonal and H1N1 flu updates
November 5, 2009
MACH FLU SHOT SUPPLY RUNS LOW
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Moncrief Army Community Hospital has minimal remaining stock of seasonal flu shot available for adults, hospital officials said earlier this week.
There is a nationwide shortage of seasonal flu vaccine.
The remaining shots will be used to complete vaccination of the post's active duty Soldiers. The seasonal nasal vaccine and pediatric flu shots for children 17 and younger are still available.
Those who do not qualify for the nasal vaccine, (i.e., those older than 50, those who have a history of asthma or are immune-compromised), can obtain the seasonal flu shot at local TRICARE authorized Convenient Care Clinic or Urgent Care Clinic. The shot is covered as a TRICARE benefit.
Manufacturers do not know if there will be an increase in the supply.
HOSPITAL AWAITS H1N1 VACCINE
Shipments of the H1N1 flu shot have been trickling in and will not be administered until an adequate supply is available, Moncrief Army Community Hospital officials said Tuesday.
The vaccine that is currently available is being distributed based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The vaccine has been offered to health care staff with direct patient contact, such as hospital staff and emergency first responders, as well as limited personnel at the on-post Child Development Centers who care for infants younger than 6 months. The nasal mist will be offered to parents of infants younger than 6 months, as well as children, 2- 4.
Those children will receive the vaccine during well -child visits and routine vaccine appointments. Both seasonal and H1N1 nasal mist are fine to take for those who have a young infant at home or are breast-feeding, as long as the infant is not otherwise immune-compromised (i.e., cancer, HIV, etc). Pregnant women should get the H1N1 vaccine through their obstetrician. Hospital officials are also working with on-post schools to vaccinate the school age children. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/nasalspray.htm for information about the nasal mist.
Once the hospital has an adequate supply of the vaccine, both the Family Health Clinic and Solomon Center Flu Drives will be open to walk-ins based on CDC/DHEC requirements, but the irregular delivery schedule and limited supply will not allow the vaccine to be distributed to the entire post population. Also, those older than 65 will not receive the H1N1 vaccine because of of their resistance level.
The Army's supply of H1N1 vaccine for active duty personnel is expected to arrive at Fort Jackson in mid-December and vaccination will begin immediately upon its arrival.