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    LB Health Dept. Cancels Annual Public Flu Shot Clinics, Victim Of Nat'l Vaccine Shortage; Some Vaccine May Be Available Thru Private Providers

    (October 7, 2004) -- Citing a national shortage of flu vaccine, LB's Dept. of Health and Human Services has cancelled annual public vaccination clinics held at various locations throughout the city.

    "Because many public agencies were awaiting shipment of the vaccine to begin senior flu clinics, many programs are being cancelled pending the availability of vaccine. However, flu vaccine may be available through private providers," said Dr. Darryl Sexton, City Health Officer in a written release.

    As previously reported on via Reuters, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that flu vaccine manufactured by Chiron Corporation will not be available for distribution this year, resulting in a national shortage of flu vaccine this fall. LB's Health Department said it had expected to receive over 7,000 Chiron-manufactured doses, but as a result of problems in the manufacturing process, no doses of Chiron vaccine will be distributed in the U.S.

    The CDC indicates that 54 million doses of vaccine are being distributed in the U.S. from another manufacturer, Aventis-Pasteur...meaning vaccine is available in the community through private providers and other flu clinic outlets.

    "Due to the supply situation, the CDC is recommending that individuals who are not at high-risk for flu complications to forego vaccination at this time. That way the vaccine can be prioritized for use in the high-risk populations who are more likely to die from, or require hospitalization for, influenza infection complications," said Dr. Sexton.

    LB's Health Department says it will make information regarding local resources available to the community as it becomes available...and will post updated information on the City website, as well as on the Health Departmentís "Shot Information Line" at (562) 570-SHOT.

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