The Department of Health and Hospitals-Office of Public Health has additional flu vaccine available at parish health units for all citizens who have not yet received their shot. However, state health officials remind those who are in high-risk groups for the flu that they should get their flu vaccines immediately, if they have not done so already.
“We believe staff at the parish health units have vaccinated most of the high-risk population for flu, and have additional vaccine left over that we will begin giving to anyone on a first-come, first-serve basis,” said Dr. Frank Welch, LDH/OPH medical director for immunizations. “But, it is important for those with health conditions that put them at greater risk for the flu who have not yet received their flu vaccine to contact their parish health units immediately to be immunized against the disease.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines high-risk groups that need to receive the influenza vaccine, by the following criteria:
- People aged 65 years or older
- Residents of long-term care facilities
- Persons aged 2-64 with chronic diseases
- Children aged 6 to 23 months
- Children 6 months to 18 years of age on chronic aspirin therapy
- All women who will be pregnant during influenza season
For more information about where and when the vaccines will be offered in your area, please contact your parish health unit.