Clinic determines guidelines for giving flu shots this season The Yankton Medical Clinic, P.C. has determined specific guidelines for the administration of flu vaccine for the 2004-05 influenza season in response to the recent flu vaccine shortage.
Due to an extremely limited supply of the flu vaccine, the following groups eligible for vaccination with inactivated influenza vaccine, in priority, are:
* Children 6 to 23 months with risk factors of lung disease, heart disease, diabetes and prematurity.
* Cancer patients, especially those receiving chemotherapy, and those patients with weakened immune systems.
* Persons with severe lung disease and oxygen dependent persons.
* Steroid dependent persons.
* Persons 2 to 64 years with lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, and epilepsy.
* Children 6 months to 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy.
Persons in any of these priority groups identified above should contact their Yankton Medical Clinic primary physician to determine eligibility to receive the flu vaccine. Vaccinations will begin the last week of October for those at high risk.
Persons who are not included in one of the priority groups described above are being asked to forego or defer vaccination.
Influenza viruses are spread from person to person primarily through the coughing and sneezing of infected persons. The influenza illness is characterized by fever, body aches, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat and runny nose.
The following measures to contain respiratory secretions are recommended for all individuals with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection:
* Hand wash with soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizers or antiseptic handwash.
* Cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.
* Use tissues to contain respiratory secretions and dispose of them in the nearest waste receptacle after use.
* Stay home from work, school or social/community events if you are ill.
In addition, in the event of an exposure to influenza, your doctor may choose to give antiviral medication to you as a preventative measure. Prescription medication like amantadine and rimantadine lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of influenza illness.
For more information regarding influenza, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.