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Missouri inmates at high risk for flu

October 19, 2004
By: Bente Birkeland
State Capital Bureau

Despite the flu vaccine shortage, early planning gives the Missouri Department of Corrections a leg up. Bente (Ben tuh) Birkeland reports from Jefferson City.

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Nearly a third of Missouri inmates will get flu vaccines this year thanks to a proactive plan by prison officials.

John Fields is a spokesperson for Correctional Medical Services, the group that orders the vaccines.

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Contents: We make the request as early as possible in order to increase the likelyhood that we will receive the vaccines we requested.

Fields says the order is based on the number of inmates who are elderly, severely sick, or have chronic medical conditions.

He says this year the department received 93 percent of the order.

Fields says he doesn't know what the department will do if they have vaccines left over.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland.

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The Missouri Department of Corrections has managed to avoid problems due to the flu vaccine shortage. Bente (Ben tuh) Birkeland reports from Jefferson City.

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John Fougere, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, says the department received 93 percent of an early order of flu vaccines. He says that order was intended for what he calls priority inmates, the sick, the elderly, and the chronically ill.

Fougere says he's confident the shots will reach those inmates.

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Contents: We will be able to get these doses to the offenders in these three categories and cover, if not all of them, most of them.

The department has almost 9,000 vaccines, enough for nearly one third of Missouri's inmates.

From the state Capitol, I'm Bente Birkeland.

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State officials say inmates at the Missouri Department of Corrections are at high risk for flu. Bente Birkeland has more from Jefferson City.

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Nearly one-third of Missouri's inmates will receive flu vaccines this year. Ken Fields is a spokesperson for Correctional Medical Services, which orders the vaccines.

He says the department only orders vaccines for high risk inmates. This year the department received nearly 9,000 vaccines.

Sue Denny, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Senior Services says she's not surprised at the high number.

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Contents: "There're going to be a lot of people who have high risk conditions, illnesses, who are being compromised. It's an aging population just like everything else.

From the state capital I'm Bente Birkeland.