More flu shots available for those at risk

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 19, 2004

Mississippi Department of Health officials will arrive inLincoln, Lawrence and Pike counties Tuesday to deliver a secondround of flu vaccinations to high-risk adults.

The mass vaccination will be in a similar manner to a Nov. 9event, but health officials say there should be no need for thelong lines that dominated the first vaccination.

“People don’t have to worry. We’ll have plenty of vaccine. Theydon’t have to start lining up at four in the morning,” said LizSharlot, director of public relations for the healthdepartment.

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As before, the event is scheduled to take place at the LincolnCounty Multi-Use Facility from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Hundreds gathered at the facility Nov. 9 to get one of the 557flu shots available. Some people arrived as early as midnight By 6a.m., the line stretched around the parking lot to Smith LakeRoad.

The vaccinations are held at the Multi-Use Facility because theBrookhaven health department offices are not designed to handlesuch a large number of people, Sharlot said.

Lawrence County’s vaccination will occur at the MethodistProtestant Church with Pike County’s at First Baptist Church.Wilkinson County will also hold a mass vaccination Tuesday at theFruit of the Loom Building.

“There may be others, but those are the only confirmedlocations,” Sharlot said.

Sharlot said the vaccinations became possible when the Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta allocated 50,000 moredoses of the flu vaccine to the state.

“Some will be used across the state in home health cases,”Sharlot said. “We’ve already vaccinated the active tuberculosispatients because they can’t stand in line and be around people.We’re also treating hospice patients this week.”

The remaining vaccine will be distributed equitably across thestate based on need, Sharlot said. She could not say how many doseswould be distributed to local counties for the Tuesday events.

“That will depend on how many we have left and the counties’needs,” she said.

People wanting to receive the flu shot Tuesday should bringidentification, such as a driver’s license, and proof ofMississippi residency, such as a utility bill.

The shots will only be administered to high-risk adults Tuesday,Sharlot said. High-risk adults include adults age 65 or older;people with long-term health problems such as heart disease, kidneydisease, lung diseases and others; women who are pregnant; andanyone who lives with or cares for children younger than six monthsold.