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Just in time for the Flu season, a major manufacturer of the vaccine that prevents the illness has been ordered to stop production. This means half the supply intended for use in the United States will not be available anytime soon. Mike Smith has this report:
Springfield/Greene County Department of Health officials learned
October 5th that over 60% of flu vaccine intended for use in the county this flu season will not be available.
Jaci McReynolds is a Public Health Information Specialist with the Health Department. She says Chiron Corp. of Liverpool England was expected to make available in the U.S., up to 48 million doses of flu vaccine this year. But because of a production problem at the Chiron plant, none of its product will be available anywhere. In Greene County, that's a loss of 4,000 of the 6,500 doses the Health Department was going to provide free to the public at 11 flu shot clinics this year.
Officials will gather all available doses of the vaccine and prioritize to reach as many high risk individuals asa possible. They are asking healthy individuals to wait for the next available supply in order for others at high risk for life threatening problems associated with the illness to get vaccinated first.
The Springfield/Greene County Department of Health has established a Flu information hotline. That number is 417-864-1166. For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.