Flu vaccine shortage affects KU clinics, area events
Student Health Services, KU hospital cancel distribution plans
The Center for Disease Control announcement that the United States would
receive only half the expected flu vaccine for this influenza season has
caused KU and other area organizers to modify clinics and events planned
to distribute the preventive shots this fall.
KU’s Student Health Services will not offer flu-shot clinics this
fall but will post continuing developments associated with the vaccine
supply and distribution on its Web site, www.ku.edu/~shs.
Also, the University of Kansas Hospital will cancel its free drive-through
flu shot event, scheduled for Oct. 30. This would have been the 12th annual
event, and it attracts more than 3,500 people each year.
“This was a very difficult decision to make because we know how
many people rely on this event to get their flu shot every year,”
said Irene Cumming, president and chief executive officer of the KU Hospital.
Cumming said that, to help provide flu shots to those who have used the
drive-through in the past, the hospital is donating 1,750 doses to health
departments in Wyandotte and other metropolitan area counties.
Cumming said the hospital was committed to bringing the drive-through
event back in 2005.
Flu-X, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s mass dispensing
exercise, will be held but with some changes.
The event is now called Flu-X for Priority Groups and will be from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m., or while supplies last, Oct. 23 at Free State High School.
Those who are not included in high priority groups are asked by the CDC
to forgo getting a flu shot this year and will not receive shots during
the Flu-X exercise.
The Health Department also will no longer be able to offer free flu shots.
The charge for a flu vaccine for children 6 to 23 months is $12. The charge
for all others is $17.
The Health Department will not deny service to individuals who are unable
to pay. Those who qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or Healthwave should
present their cards for billing purposes.
Until further notice, the health department also has canceled all other
clinics previously scheduled.
Additional information is available at www.cdc.gov/flu,
or by calling the National Immunization Hotline at (800) 232-2522.