The Clay Co. Health Dept. announced the availability of flu vaccine for people who meet the CDC guidelines this week.
The Intra Nasal Flu-Mist vaccine will be available to healthcare workers not already vaccinated and household contacts, or caretakers, of children less than six months.
"It's an attenuated vaccine, which means it is a live virus in a weakened state," said Jennifer Lucas, Clay County Health Nurse, explaining the difference between the nasal vaccine and the regular flu shot. "The inactivated vaccine, given as a shot in muscle tissue, contains killed influenza viruses."
Flu-Mist can only be given to people ages 5 to 49 without a history of asthma, weakened immune systems, or those in close contact with people with weakened immune systems at home, nursing home facilities or patients in stem-cell or bone marrow transplant units.
"The shortage this year caused stricter enforcement of the CDC guidelines for adults and children," said Lucas. "We are trying our best to ensure those most in need receive it in a timely manner."
Flu shots will also be available this week for babies 6- to 23-months and children ages 6 months to 18 years on long term aspirin therapy or chronic medical conditions.
"Many patients meeting the requirements are unknown to us, we need to let them know there is vaccine available."
For information regarding the CDC guidelines, a patient's qualification or a schedule of vaccinations available to the public please call the Clay County Health Department at 448-9021 during business hours.