Flu shot available today to high-risk groups | NevadaAppeal.com

Flu shot available today to high-risk groups

Becky Bosshart

Carson-Tahoe Hospital will administer flu shots today and next week to high-risk patients only, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday.

Shots will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Carson Mall for $15. They will also be offered from noon-4 p.m. Monday at the Minden Medical Center, 925 Ironwood Drive, and 1-5 p.m. Thursday at the Carson Mall. The hospital accepts the Medicare B card.

Because of the nation’s short supply of flu vaccine, new federal guidelines were announced in early October. The guidelines urge healthy people to reserve remaining flu vaccine for older adults and young children who are most at risk for flu complications.

Cheri Glockner, hospital public information officer, said Thursday the hospital will adhere to those federal guidelines.

“We feel our community is very fortunate that we were able to receive all this vaccine and reach the needs of our high-risk community,” she said.

Priority vaccination groups are:

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— Adults aged 65 or older

— Adults under 65 with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, metabolic disease such as diabetes or anemia, and those with weakened immune systems

— All women pregnant during flu season

— Nursing home or long-term care residents

— Out-of-home caregivers and people in contact with children less than 6 months old

The government estimates 98 million people are at high risk of flu complications. It expects to have a little more than half of that number of flu shots.

Carson-Tahoe Hospital received a shipment of 7,000 doses of flu vaccine from Aventis in September. Glockner said that was a little over half of the original order. Another bulk order arrived at the hospital Wednesday. This shipment brought in enough doses so that the hospital has 80 percent of its original order of 12,000 doses.

Glockner said she is not sure how many doses are left. They are available on a first come, first serve basis. She said local medical officials trust that only high-risk patients will come in for the shot.

“We are certainly not going to ask for proof whether someone has a chronic disease. We want them to be honest with us to make sure that we have the vaccines for the people who are at high risk.”

So far the hospital has conducted two clinics in Carson City, one in Dayton and two in Minden.

Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.