Iowa reports vaccine shortage-clinics closed

Polk County Health Department officials cancel community flu and pneumonia vaccine program because of medication shortage.

Iowa health vaccine availability alert-Polk County Health Department closes vaccine program clinics because of flu shot shortage.

Des Moines, IA–Polk County Health Department officials announced the closings of 31 community wide flu and pneumonia clinics because of no vaccines. The county seat to Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines was forced to close clinics beginning Wednesday, October 7 through October 25, 2009 because health officials discovered they possess less than 1,000 doses of the flu shot, as reported by the Des Moines Register on October 7, 2009.

The Polk County Health Department director confirmed more flu shots are on order but the date of shipment has been tentatively delayed to early or mid-November. The Carpenter Avenue clinic will administer the remaining doses to people on a walk-in basis. Health officials are concerned they may not even receive the entire shipment of flu shots ordered because of a basic lack of vaccine availability. The flu and pneumonia clinics will reopen after the vaccines become available.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers these suggestions for all consumers to prevent the spread of all types of flu including the H1N1:

-Wash your hands regularly (use non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol based hand rub, or antiseptic hand wash)
-Cover you mouth and nose while coughing and/or sneezing
-Use tissues and promptly discard in a trash basin with a lid
-Be aware of the symptoms of flu and avoid contact with other people while you are ill and recovering

When people are unable to receive flu shots to vaccinate them from the intended virus, the above daily safety precautions may prevent illness and contamination. Following the guidelines and safety precautions suggested by your local health department or a number of federal government websites like the CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may save you from contracting and/or transmitting the flu this season.

Iowa health and law education by legal news reporter Heather L. Ryan.

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