Flu vaccine arrrives in county

Anyone desiring an influenza vaccination may finally get it before the end of this month.

The Mohave County Department of Health & Social Services has received some vaccine that is being given to those with chronic medical problems, said Christy Bronston, director of nursing services.

The balance of a shipment of vaccine from manufacturer Wyeth-Ayers should arrive in mid-December, she said.

"We know people are worried about not being able to get the vaccine," Bronston said.

"From what we've been told, it will be available soon."

Bronston could not say how many doses are expected with the pending shipment.

But she did say once the vaccine comes in the health department will schedule a flu clinic at the Kathryn Heidenreich Adult Center on Airway Avenue as soon as possible to distribute it.

In the meanwhile, people with chronic health problems, such as asthma and emphysema, should call 753-0714.

Those in the high-risk category will get a vaccination from the small supply currently on hand, she said.

Bronston said the strain of viruses for developing A and B type vaccine did not grow out properly for two manufacturers, resulting in the delay of vaccine availability.

Kingman pharmacist Paul Lewis had previously said the federal government sets the release date for flu vaccine and will not release any until all manufacturers have their supplies ready for shipment so no manufacturer can gain a competitive edge on another.

Flu season runs from October through April.

Symptoms include headaches, fever, muscle aches, coughing, wheezing, runny nose and sore throat, Bronston said.

Health officials have predicted about 74 million doses of flu vaccine will be needed nationwide this winter, the same as last year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the flu season has not peaked until mid-January in 14 of the last 18 years.

When the health department receives the expected shipment of vaccine, a notice of the vaccination clinic for the general public will appear in the Kingman Daily Miner.