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State Agencies Scramble to Cope with Vaccine Shortage

October 7, 2004
By: Bente Birkeland
State Capital Bureau

A flu vaccine shortage leave the Missouri Department of Health anxiously waiting to see if more vaccines are on the way. Bente Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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Missouri has less than half of the flu vaccines it expected for the flu season.

A spokesman for the Missouri Department of Health, Sue Denny, says her agency can't do anything about the shortage.

She says the state is waiting for guidelines from the federal government.

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Contents: Denny says the state can't get any more vaccines.

The British govenment suspended the license of a major provider of flu vaccines in the U.S., which leaves one provider left.

Denny says that company is deciding how to re-distribute 23 million vaccines.

From the State Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland.

A flu vaccine shortage leaves the Missouri Department of Health with new guidlines by no way to enforce them. Bente Birkeland has the story.

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The British govenrnment suspended the license of a major supplier of flu vaccines in the U.S.

Sue Denny is a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health. She says the department is asking health providers to save the vaccines for high-risk people, but the agency has no authority to enforce that.

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Contents: "We're counting on the general public to follow through with these recommendations."

Denny says if you're healthy and under age 65 you should not try to get a flu vaccine.

From the State Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland.

Last year every inmate in the Missouri Department of Corrections got a flu vaccine. [Last year, every inmate who met the CDC requirements for flu vaccinnations received a vaccine.] That won't be the case this year. Bente Birkeland is in Jefferson City.

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The British government suspended the license of a major flu vaccine provider in the U.S.

John Fougere is a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, he says he doesn't know if they'll have vaccines for all the inmates.

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Contents: "We're kind of up in the air right now, but we have a plan."

Prisons face unique challenges because they house so many people in close quarters.

From the State Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland.