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Influenza Vaccination Status In Broome County

Due to concerns about influenza vaccine shortages, the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday, December 11th, issued new recommendations regarding administration of the influenza vaccine.
  • The recommendations have now been revised to include healthy children aged 6-23 months. The other previously designated high-risk categories are: persons 2 years or older with underlying chronic conditions; pregnant women in the second or third trimester; and those 65 years and older. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control has advised that second doses of influenza vaccine should not be held in reserve for children aged 6 to 23 months given the limited supplies available.
  • Based on the revised guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the Broome County Health Department will administer influenza vaccine ONLY to those residents without a Medical Provider who are healthy children aged 6-23 months, persons 2 years or older with underlying chronic conditions, women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, and persons 65 years and over. At this time, due to these revised recommendations, the Broome County Health Department can no longer offer the flu vaccine to anyone wishing to prevent influenza. Those people falling into these high-risk groups without a medical provider should call 607.778.2839 for an appointment. Nurses will carefully screen callers to ensure they are high-risk and do not have a medical provider.
  • Based on these revised recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Broome County Health Department is reallocating its limited supply of influenza vaccine to the pediatric and family care providers in Broome County.
  • Public Health Officials have determined that this is the best means for distributing flu vaccine to those populations at highest risk for complications of influenza which includes healthy children ages 6 to 23 months, persons 2 years or older with underlying chronic conditions, pregnant women in second and third trimesters, and persons 65 years and older.
  • Parents of healthy children ages 6 to 23 months and persons 2 years or older with underlying chronic conditions are now encouraged to re-contact their medical provider to make an appointment because pediatric and family care providers may now have new, additional, though limited supplies.
  • At the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control, medical providers will be administering influenza vaccine only to those at highest risk, healthy children ages 6 to 23 months and persons 2 years or older with underlying chronic conditions, pregnant women in their second and third trimester, and persons aged 65 and older.
  • If you do not have a medical provider and you have an infant ages 6 to 23 months, a person 2 year or older with an underlying chronic health condition, or you are over 65 years of age, call the Broome County Health Department at 607.778.2839 for more information concerning influenza vaccine. Vaccine will be administered BY APPOINTMENT ONLY to those in the high-risk categories.
  • For those who will not be able to receive the influenza vaccine, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting the flu:
    • Your doctor can suggest certain medications that may help if you have been exposed to influenza, or are experiencing flu symptoms;
    • Frequent hand-washing is critical because it can reduce the spread of viruses that cause colds and the flu; waterless hand gel or sanitizer is useful as well;
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
    • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw it away;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
    • Teach your children these respiratory and hand hygiene habits as well;
    • Stay at home when sick, this will reduce the spread of influenza in our community.
  • It is important to recognize that as more people are immunized in our community, less spread of illness occurs.
  • Residents can hear a recording of this information 24 hours a day by calling 607.778.3911, choose option 4. The National Immunization Hotline can be reached during normal business hours at 1.800.232.2522. Residents can visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu for more information about the revised recommendations.