Southeast Provides 580 Flu Shots to Cape County Public Health Department

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Nov. 23, 2004 – Southeast Missouri State University has provided 580 flu shots to the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department after the University’s Center for Health and Counseling received unexpected shipments of the vaccine

In late October, the Center for Health and Counseling received a shipment of 450 doses of the flu vaccine to be administered to high risk students, faculty, staff and retirees. Late last week, another shipment of the vaccine unexpectedly arrived from Aventis Pasteur, said Judy St. John, director of the Center for Health and Counseling.

Since the Center for Disease Control is asking that only high risk individuals get immunized and that healthy people not get the vaccine this year, the University is left with about 580 doses that should not be administered, St. John said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control define individuals who are at a “high risk” of complications from influenza as follows:  individuals who have long term heart problems; long term lung problems; kidney disease; diabetes; anemia; asthma; cancer or immunologic disorders that lower immunity; HIV or AIDS; or are over the age of 65.  Other individuals that should be immunized are healthcare workers involved in direct, hands-on, face-to-face patient care, women who are pregnant or plan to be pregnant in the near future, and those who live with or care for a child less than 6 months of age

“The number we received simply exceeds what we can use given the CDC guidelines,” St. John said, so Southeast decided to offer it to another governmental agency, the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department, at the University’s cost.

During the past couple of weeks, the Center for Health and Counseling has been administering the flu shots to students, faculty, staff and retirees who have been identified as “high risk” individuals according to the CDC guidelines.