Flu vaccine expected to be plentiful this season

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A record amount of vaccine is expected this flu season, and local providers are hoping enough is distributed to meet demand early on, when people are most interested in shots.

Noting "alarmingly low" vaccination rates among adults and children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged yesterday that Americans get flu shots well into the flu season.

"We need to rethink the influenza immunization season and encourage vaccination throughout the fall and winter," Dr. Julie Gerberding, the CDC's director, said in a statement.

"Every year, we miss the opportunity to get more Americans vaccinated," said Dr. Ardis Hoven, an infectious disease specialist and board member for the American Medical Association, at a news conference with Dr. Gerberding and other health officials in Washington.

"After Thanksgiving, patient demand for vaccine dramatically decreases," often leaving many doses unused and people unprotected, Dr. Hoven said.

Flu season runs from November to March.

The CDC recommends that anyone get vaccinated who wants to reduce the risk of getting the flu or spreading it to others. Specific groups that should get vaccinated include children six months to 5 years; pregnant women; people 50 and older; people with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes; household contacts and caregivers of anyone at high risk, such as young children or people 65 and older; nursing home residents and health workers.

Officials said that for years, only about 40 percent of health care workers have been vaccinated.

Nationwide, about 30 percent of high-risk people 18 to 49 were vaccinated in the 2005-2006 flu season, and 69 percent of people 65 and older.

Young children need two doses when they are first vaccinated. In the 2005-2006 season, only one in five children ages 6 months to 23 months were fully vaccinated, and just over one in 10 children who needed two doses got both.

Officials noted that yesterday, another means of vaccination became available for many younger children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the inhaled flu vaccine FluMist for children ages 2 to 5. Previously, it had been approved for children 5 and older and adults up to 49.

Officials cited a number of reasons for low vaccination rates, including the mistaken belief that getting a flu shot can cause the flu; complacency; and the instability of the vaccine supply chain.

The current system can't fill all vaccine orders before the start of the flu season, and "that is very frustrating for providers," said Dr. Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of the CDC's immunization services division.

Yet nationally, vaccine production has increased, she noted.

Dr. Santoli said manufacturers expect to produce a record 132 million doses this year -- up from about 120 million last season, when about 102 million doses were distributed.

Last year in the Pittsburgh area, some providers reported problems in receiving enough vaccine early on. Later in the season, however, the area was awash in unused vaccine.

Kelly Fennell, practice manager for Ambridge Area Healthcare Services, said 300 of 1,200 doses ordered for this season have been delivered. Officials have said the rest will arrive by the end of September. "If it comes in after mid-October, it could be an issue," she said.

Liz Yankello, practice administrator for Sewickley Valley Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, said the vaccine situation seems better than last year. But the practice has yet to receive any vaccine from the state Vaccine for Children program, which provides flu shots for children who are without insurance or who receive medical assistance.

The state "can't give us a date" when the vaccine will be delivered, she said. Stacy Kriedeman, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, said Vaccine for Children doses are expected to be sent by the end of next month.

After ending the last flu season with excess doses, the Allegheny County Health Department scaled back on its vaccine order for this season.

Last season, the department ordered 45,000 doses -- 9,000 for its flu clinic and the rest for other providers, said spokesman Guillermo Cole. But it only used 3,000 doses for its own clinic, down from 7,000 the previous season.

The department believes usage went down because vaccine was available from other providers, said Mr. Cole, noting that this season, the health department ordered just 3,000 doses for its own clinic and 22,000 for other providers.

The department will open its flu clinic at 3441 Forbes Ave. in Oakland on Oct. 15. The walk-in clinic is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Health Hope Network, another major local provider of flu shots, also scaled back on its flu shot order, though not on the number of its scheduled clinics, said Executive Director Dotti Bechtol.

The agency ordered 15,000 flu shots, down from 30,000 the year before.

Health Hope Network will begin holding its public flu clinics Oct. 1. For more information, call 412-937-8350 or visit www.healthhopenetwork.org.

Flu shot clinic schedule for Health Hope NetworkOCTOBERDayDateTimeLocationAddressCityMonday01-Oct9am-10amGateway Towers320 Fort Duquesne Blvd.PittsburghTuesday02-Oct11am-2pmNational City Mt. Lebanon620 Washington RdPittsburghWednesday03-Oct10am-1pmGulf Tower (lobby) - 110 Gulf Assoc.707 Grant StreetPittsburghWednesday03-Oct10am-3pmParkway Ctr Bldg 7 (FWG Real Estate)875 Greentree Road, Seven Parkway Center, Suite 750PittsburghThursday04-Oct9am-1pmGrace Episcopal Church325 Church LnEdgeworthThursday04-Oct3pm-7pmSouth Park TownshipMunicipal Complex, Community Center, 2675 Brownsville Rd.South ParkFriday05-Oct10am-2pmGrubb & Ellis Management - PPG PlaceTwo PPG PlacePittsburghFriday05-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Castle Shannon799 Castle Shannon BlvdCastle ShannonFriday05-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Holiday Park2362 Hwy 286PlumFriday05-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Latrobe Daily Ave1910 Daily AveLatrobeFriday05-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Mt. Pleasant210 N Diamond StMt PleasantFriday05-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Olympia4313 Walnut StMcKeesportFriday05-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Pines Plaza1130 Perry HwyRoss TwpSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmCommunity Market - Penn Hills1117 Milltown RdVeronaSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmGood Shepherd Sr Citizen Club1600 Brinton RoadBraddockSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Castle Shannon799 Castle Shannon BlvdCastle ShannonSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Holiday Park2362 Hwy 286PlumSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Latrobe Daily Ave1910 Daily AveLatrobeSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Mt. Pleasant210 N Diamond StMt PleasantSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Olympia4313 Walnut StMcKeesportSaturday06-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Pines Plaza1130 Perry HwyRoss TwpSunday07-Oct12pm-2pmBridgeville First United Methodist Church244 Station StreetBridgevilleSunday07-Oct11am-2pmCommunity Market - Fox ChapelFox Chapel Plaza, 1111 Freeport RdPittsburghSunday07-Oct9am-11amShaare Torah Congregation2319 Murray AvenuePittsburghSunday07-Oct10:30-12:30St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church624 Park RoadAmbridgeSunday07-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Castle Shannon799 Castle Shannon BlvdCastle ShannonSunday07-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Holiday Park2362 Hwy 286PlumSunday07-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Latrobe Daily Ave1910 Daily AveLatrobeSunday07-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Mt. Pleasant210 N Diamond StMt PleasantSunday07-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Olympia4313 Walnut StMcKeesportSunday07-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Pines Plaza1130 Perry HwyRoss TwpTuesday09-Oct11am-12pmBaldwin Towers (Aimco)200 Knoedler Rd.PittsburghTuesday09-Oct11am-2pmNational City Coraopolis953 Fifth AveCoraopolisWednesday10-Oct1pm-4pmBrightwood Plaza Apartments4940 Brightwood Road, Rental OfficeBethel ParkWednesday10-Oct11am-2pmNational City South Hills Village1825 Washington RdPittsburghWednesday10-Oct7pm-9pmShaare Torah Congregation2319 Murray AvenuePittsburghThursday11-Oct8:00am - 1:30 pmFrick Bldg.437 Grant Street (Lobby)PittsburghThursday11-Oct11am-2pmNational City Squirrel Hill1730 Murray AvePittsburghThursday11-Oct10am-12pmPine Ridge Heights Apartments892 Veterans LnNatrona HeightsFriday12-Oct8:00am - 1:30 pmManor Bldg.564 Forbes Avenue (Lobby)PittsburghFriday12-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Baldwin93 Joseph StPittsburghFriday12-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Beaver Falls9th Ave & 5th StBeaver FallsFriday12-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Glenshaw917 Butler StGlenshawFriday12-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Lawrenceville450 56th St & ButlerPittsburghFriday12-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Penn Hills2820 Universal RdPenn HillsFriday12-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Rte 66 Greensburg990 N Main StGreensburgSaturday13-Oct11am-2pmCommunity Market - Lower BurrellHillcrest Shopping Center, 3220 Leechburg RdLower BurrellSaturday13-Oct9am-12pmGreater Beneficial Union of Pittsburgh4254 Clairton BlvdPittsburghSaturday13-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Baldwin93 Joseph StPittsburghSaturday13-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Beaver Falls9th Ave & 5th StBeaver FallsSaturday13-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Glenshaw917 Butler StGlenshawSaturday13-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Lawrenceville450 56th St & ButlerPittsburghSaturday13-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Penn Hills2820 Universal RdPenn HillsSaturday13-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Rte 66 Greensburg990 N Main StGreensburgSunday14-Oct12pm-2pmBaldwin Community United Methodist Church5001 Baptist RoadPittsburghSunday14-Oct12pm-1pmGrace Episcopal ChurchMt Washington Sunday14-Oct9am-11:30Westminster Presbyterian Church2040 Washington RoadPittsburghSunday14-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Baldwin93 Joseph StPittsburghSunday14-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Beaver Falls9th Ave & 5th StBeaver FallsSunday14-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Glenshaw917 Butler StGlenshawSunday14-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Lawrenceville450 56th St & ButlerPittsburghSunday14-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Penn Hills2820 Universal RdPenn HillsSunday14-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Rte 66 Greensburg990 N Main StGreensburgTuesday16-Oct10am-1pmBill's Hometown Pharmacy313 Unity Center RoadPittsbrughTuesday16-Oct11am-2pmNational City Forest Hills2400 Ardmore BlvdPittsburghTuesday16-Oct11am-2pmNational City McKnight4808 McKnight RdPittsburghThursday18-Oct10am-1pmHuman Services Center Corporation519 Penn AvenueTurtle CreekThursday18-Oct11am-2pmNational City Robinson6300 Robinson Centre DrPittsburghThursday18-Oct10am-2pmStation Square317 Landmark Bldg, 100 W Station Square Dr.PittsburghFriday19-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Belle Vernon Rostraver600 Willowbrook PlazaRostraver TwnspFriday19-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Century Square2381 Mountainview DrWest MifflinFriday19-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Connellsville119 Memorial Blvd.ConnellsvilleFriday19-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Rochester Rd. Westview184 Rochester Rd.Ross TwpFriday19-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Shaler1620 Babcock BlvdShaler TwpFriday19-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Zelienople105 W Culvert & S Clay StZelienopleSaturday20-Oct11am-2pmCommunity Market - Natrona HeightsHeights Shopping Center, 1710 Pacific AveNatrona HeightsSaturday20-Oct8am-1pmMonroeville Mall Health FairMonroeville Mall near BoscovsMonroevilleSaturday20-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Belle Vernon Rostraver600 Willowbrook PlazaRostraver TwnspSaturday20-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Century Square2381 Mountainview DrWest MifflinSaturday20-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Connellsville120 Memorial Blvd.ConnellsvilleSaturday20-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Rochester Rd. Westview184 Rochester Rd.Ross TwpSaturday20-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Shaler1620 Babcock BlvdShaler TwpSaturday20-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Zelienople105 W Culvert & S Clay StZelienopleSunday21-Oct12pm-2pmBrookline Blvd United Presbyterian Church1036 Brookline BlvdPittsburghSunday21-Oct12pm-2pmCenter Presbyterian Church225 Center Church RoadMcMurraySunday21-Oct12pm-1pmSixth Mount Zion Baptist Church6556 Shetland AvenuePittsburghSunday21-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Belle Vernon Rostraver600 Willowbrook PlazaRostraver TwnspSunday21-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Century Square2381 Mountainview DrWest MifflinSunday21-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Connellsville121 Memorial Blvd.ConnellsvilleSunday21-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Rochester Rd. Westview184 Rochester Rd.Ross TwpSunday21-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Shaler1620 Babcock BlvdShaler TwpSunday21-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Zelienople105 W Culvert & S Clay StZelienopleMonday22-Oct9am-5pmCentury III MallMall Management Office, 3075 Clairton Blvd.West MifflinMonday22-Oct11am-2pmU.S. Steel Tower Auditorium (USX)600 Grant StreetPittsburghWednesday24-Oct11am-1pmGrace Episcopal Church Mt Washington  Wednesday24-Oct11am-2pmNational City PPGTwo PPG PlacePittsburghWednesday24-Oct11am-2pmNational City White Oak1612 Lincoln WayWhite OakFriday26-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Canonsburg617 W Pike StCanonsburgFriday26-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Delmont207 Athena DrDelmontFriday26-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save E Rochester750 Ohio River BlvdEast RochesterFriday26-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Haymaker Village4548 Broadway BlvdMonroevilleFriday26-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Homestead713 East 8th AvenueHomesteadFriday26-Oct5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Rte 30 Latrobe1020 Latrobe 30 PlazaLatrobeSaturday27-Oct11am-2pmAndrew Carnegie Free Library300 Beechwood AvenueCarnegieSaturday27-Oct10am-12pmCuddy VFW656 Millers Run RdCuddySaturday27-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Canonsburg617 W Pike StCanonsburgSaturday27-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Delmont207 Athena DrDelmontSaturday27-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save E Rochester750 Ohio River BlvdEast RochesterSaturday27-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Haymaker Village4548 Broadway BlvdMonroevilleSaturday27-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Homestead713 East 8th AvenueHomesteadSaturday27-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Rte 30 Latrobe1020 Latrobe 30 PlazaLatrobeSunday28-Oct12:15pm-2:30pmHamilton Presbyterian Church4500 Hamilton RoadPittsburghSunday28-Oct11:30-1:30Sunset Hills United Presbyterian Church900 Country Club DrivePittsburghSunday28-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Canonsburg617 W Pike StCanonsburgSunday28-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Delmont207 Athena DrDelmontSunday28-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save E Rochester750 Ohio River BlvdEast RochesterSunday28-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Haymaker Village4548 Broadway BlvdMonroevilleSunday28-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Homestead713 East 8th AvenueHomesteadSunday28-Oct11am-2pmShop 'n Save Rte 30 Latrobe1020 Latrobe 30 PlazaLatrobeTuesday30-Oct11am-2pmNational City Shadyside5601 Walnut StPittsburghNOVEMBERDayDateTimeLocationAddressCityThursday01-Nov11am-2pmNational City Banksville3149 Banksville RdPittsburghFriday02-Nov12pm-2pmSouthminster Presby Church-Adult Interest Center799 Washington Road (Mt Lebanon)PittsburghFriday02-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Gibsonia5375 William Flynn HwyGibsoniaFriday02-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Hopewell2284 Broadhead RdHopewellFriday02-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Noblestown Rd.2103 Noblestown RdPittsburghFriday02-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Saltsburg543 Salt StSaltsburgFriday02-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Washington125 W Beau StWashingtonSaturday03-Nov10am-2pmSt. Coleman Church100 Tri-Boro Ave.Turtle CreekSaturday03-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Gibsonia5375 William Flynn HwyGibsoniaSaturday03-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Hopewell2284 Broadhead RdHopewellSaturday03-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Noblestown Rd.2103 Noblestown RdPittsburghSaturday03-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Saltsburg543 Salt StSaltsburgSaturday03-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Washington125 W Beau StWashingtonSunday04-Nov9am-12:30pmBeth Shalom Congregation5919 Beacon St.PittsburghSunday04-Nov11am-1pmSt. Nicholas Orthodox Church903 Ann StreetHomesteadSunday04-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Gibsonia5375 William Flynn HwyGibsoniaSunday04-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Hopewell2284 Broadhead RdHopewellSunday04-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Noblestown Rd.2103 Noblestown RdPittsburghSunday04-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Saltsburg543 Salt StSaltsburgSunday04-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Washington125 W Beau StWashingtonTuesday06-Nov11am-2pmNational City Monroeville Office2727 Strochein Rd.MonroevilleWednesday07-Nov11am-1pmSoldiers and Sailors Hall4141 Fifth Ave.PittsburghThursday08-Nov4pm-8pmGrace Episcopal Church325 Church LnEdgeworthFriday09-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Helds N. Apollo16th St & Hwy 66North ApolloFriday09-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Imperial600 Market Place DrImperialFriday09-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save Pittsburgh St. Greensburg730 E Pittsburgh StGreensburgFriday09-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save RusselltonLittle Deer Creek RdRusseltonFriday09-Nov5pm-8pmShop 'n Save West Kittanning1 Franklin Village MallWest KittanningSaturday10-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Helds N. Apollo16th St & Hwy 66North ApolloSaturday10-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Imperial600 Market Place DrImperialSaturday10-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Pittsburgh St. Greensburg730 E Pittsburgh StGreensburgSaturday10-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save RusselltonLittle Deer Creek RdRusseltonSaturday10-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save West Kittanning1 Franklin Village MallWest KittanningSunday11-Nov11:30-12:30Crossroads Presbyterian Church2310 Haymaker Rd.MonroevilleSunday11-Nov9:30am-1pmFox Chapel Presby Church384 Fox Chapel Rd.PittsburghSunday11-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Helds N. Apollo16th St & Hwy 66North ApolloSunday11-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Imperial600 Market Place DrImperialSunday11-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save Pittsburgh St. Greensburg730 E Pittsburgh StGreensburgSunday11-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save RusselltonLittle Deer Creek RdRusseltonSunday11-Nov11am-2pmShop 'n Save West Kittanning1 Franklin Village MallWest KittanningThursday15-Nov12pm-4pmBorough of Jefferson HillsCommunity room, 925 Old Clairton Rd.Jefferson HillsSunday18-Nov11am-1pmSt. Elias Byzantine Catholic Church4200 Homestead-Duquesne RoadMunhall

Joe Fahy can be reached at jfahy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1722.


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