Archive for Friday, October 29, 2004

Retirement home gets hundreds of flu shots

October 29, 2004


One Lawrence retirement community's wait for flu shots has ended.

Residents of Brandon Woods Retirement Community, 1515 Inverness Drive, received the vaccination Thursday.

"We were delighted when we were called up Friday and told we had flu shots," said Brandon Woods resident Alice Jo DeFries.

Staff with the Life Care Services Home Health Agency at Brandon Woods managed to secure enough doses for all 330 residents and some staff members through Maxim Healthcare in Kansas City, Mo.

"I think you could have heard a collective sigh of relief when we got the news," said Shannon Ruedlinger, executive director of Brandon Woods.

The nation's supply of influenza vaccine was suddenly cut in half earlier this month when British regulators shut down shipments from Chiron Corp., which produced millions of flu shots for the U.S. market. The problem caused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pull back flu vaccine.

Since Brandon Woods was able to secure flu vaccine, residents didn't attend the Flu-X clinic held by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department last week. More than 1,400 people stood in line to get a shot at that event.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department officials don't know whether they will receive more flu vaccine, and even if they do, it could be a limited amount.

Spokeswoman Janelle Martin said department officials were hopeful the CDC and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment would send some this way.

She said the Health Department wouldn't be notified about whether it was getting more flu vaccine, meaning delivery people are some of the most popular at the department.

"Everybody gets excited when we see delivery people, but the smiles disappear when we see they are just bringing envelopes," Martin said.

In the meantime, Martin suggests people needing a flu shot regularly call the Health Department's flu shot clearinghouse phone number, 843-0721, to find out the availability of flu vaccine. Information is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.