Officials work to distribute flu vaccines

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Nov. 26, 2001
Dr. Margaret Morrison, state health officer for East Central Mississippi, says delays in shipments of flu vaccine should not create problems because the flu season starts later in Mississippi than in other parts of the country.
Nationwide, the flu peaks between December and March. The flu season usually peaks in Mississippi in late January and early February.
Companies that produce flu vaccines began shipping out partial orders in October for those most at risk of the elderly, people with chronic and long-term health conditions and health care workers.
Mississippi's county health departments began offering flu shots to people in the high risk areas on Oct. 15
The final shipments of flu vaccines around the country are due to arrive sometime in December, according to projections from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Meanwhile, the flu shot will be available at a number of locations in the next two weeks, and HealthSystems of Mississippi is working with Medicaid to set up a toll-free number to help flu vaccine providers with redistribution of the vaccine.
Health care providers with extra flu vaccine can call (888) 204-0153, and leave a message with their contact information. Providers in need can call the same number for a list of providers with a surplus.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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