September 22, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Delayed

Due to a delay in shipping from its seasonal flu vaccine manufacturer, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department has canceled its public seasonal flu shot clinics scheduled for October 5 – 12th.

“Every year we deal with the uncertainty of when our seasonal flu vaccine will arrive,” says director of health Kevin Gipson. “This year the situation has been exacerbated by an apparent shift in production focus from seasonal flu vaccine to H1N1 vaccine.”

The health department typically orders about 5,000 doses of seasonal flu vaccine for children and high risk adults. This year it may receive less than a third of its order.

“We will provide the vaccine we get to children and adults as it arrives,” adds Gipson, “and will continue to support the efforts of the Springfield Flu Immunization Coalition as they vaccinate high risk adults in our community.”

Seasonal flu vaccine is also typically available through the health care systems and at local pharmacies.

H1N1 vaccine is expected to be shipped in mid- to late October, and the health department will continue working with its partners to ensure that vaccine is initially available to people in the H1N1 high risk categories. The department adds they expect to eventually receive enough H1N1 vaccine to offer it to all Greene County residents.

“Vaccination is the best protection against influenza,” adds Gipson, “but frequent handwashing, keeping a distance from people who are sick, and avoiding touching your nose, eyes and mouth are also proven disease prevention methods. We need every resident to be vigilant to do these things during this flu season in order to protect themselves, their families and our community.”

For more information on how to protect yourself against seasonal flu and H1N1, visit www.fightthefluMO.com or call the health department’s information line at 417-864-1166.

Media contact: Jaci McReynolds, Public Information Administrator

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov