« HIV has been around longer than we thought | Main | Most health workers don't get a flu shot »

Computer glitch delays delivery of flu vaccine for Minnesota Vaccines for Children program

Kare 11 reported this weekend that a computer glitch will delay the delivery of flu vaccines to the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program. Minnesota Vaccines for Children is a federally funded program that will cover children whose insurance will not pay for the flu vaccine.

Even though the vaccine will be delayed to the program, it is still early in the flu season, so officials are not overly conserned. The news report also mentions that there are actually more vaccines available nationwide than ever before.

Below are the CDC's recommendations for who should and should not get the flu vaccine.
Who Should Get Vaccinated
In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, it is recommended by ACIP that certain people should get vaccinated each year. They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications. During flu seasons when vaccine supplies are limited or delayed, ACIP makes recommendations regarding priority groups for vaccination.

People who should get vaccinated each year are:

Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
Pregnant women
People 50 years of age and older
People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
a. Health care workers
b. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
c. Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

Use of the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
It should be noted that vaccination with the nasal-spray flu vaccine is always an option for healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
There are some people who should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. These include:

People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)


According to these guidelines, I am not a candidate for the flu vaccinations, yet I feel like every winter local media is constantly rubbing it in my face to get vaccinated. My friends, teachers, co-workers and even strangers on the bus talk about the vaccine. I don't see why a healthy female should expose herself to a fever, soreness and aches, plus the cost of the vaccine.

My concern is what are the problems and concerns if all Americans are vaccinated every year? How effective will these vaccines be for those who really need them? I wish I knew what the criticisms are for flu vaccines every year, not just the CDC recommendations.

If I followed what the media said, I would be a great host for the flu pandemic that was discussed in class on Thursday.