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County announces priority for flu shots

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

Cook County health authorities will get only half of their usual flu vaccines this year, and that's if they're lucky.

Daniel Winship, chief of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, told the Cook County Board Tuesday that the county has just 1,260 doses of flu vaccine on hand. It ordered 73,500, but the county's supplier in Liverpool was shut down by the British government due to contamination fears.

Cook County reordered from another company, but that company can only promise to try to supply 36,750 doses, about half of what the county had banked on, Winship said.

To serve those most in need, Cook County will ration doses, giving shots to the following groups in descending priority: patients with long-term illnesses, children 6-23 months old, children 2 years and older who suffer from chronic conditions like asthma, women who are pregnant during the peak flu months of October to February, health care workers in high-risk units, and finally healthy adults 65 and older.

Last year, the county dispensed about 80,000 flu shots.



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