Health and Family Services Cabinet
Flu vaccine recommendations expanded high risk individuals should still seek vaccination
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is recommending that health care providers, including local health departments, expand the groups recommended for flu vaccinations to all individuals who want to be vaccinated.
Recently, DPH advised that health care providers follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines by prioritizing high risk groups, such as the elderly and chronically ill, for administration of flu vaccine. While DPH continues to strongly emphasize the importance of vaccinating high risk groups, all may now receive the flu vaccine. Healthy people 5 to 49 years old, including health care workers and others in close contact with groups at high risk, can also receive the nasal spray vaccine.
“Early season prioritization was necessary to make sure our most vulnerable individuals received vaccinations should a shortage occur,” said William Hacker, M.D., public health commissioner. “Fortunately, the CDC indicates that an adequate supply of flu vaccine is anticipated for the upcoming flu season. Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated against flu.”
For example, Kentucky’s health departments should receive the remainder of their vaccine shipments no later than the second week of November.
“There is still plenty of time left before the onset of flu season to get vaccinated,” Hacker said. “If your health care provider doesn’t have enough vaccine right now but is expected to receive more, individuals are advised to check again later since vaccine will continue to be shipped by manufacturers for several more weeks.”
Kentuckians should contact their health care provider to check on availability and schedule an appointment for vaccination.
For more information on the 2005-06 flu season, visit the CDC’s Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/