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ACMC halts scheduling of seasonal flu shots

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News Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Updated 4:30 p.m.

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WILLMAR -- Local demand for the seasonal influenza vaccine has been so high that Affiliated Community Medical Centers has stopped scheduling appointments for people to come in and get their flu shots.

At many places around Minnesota, people might have to wait a little longer this fall to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. But health officials said today that the delay is temporary and that there should be enough vaccine for everyone who needs it or wants it.

"We're feeling that in the end, we'll be able to provide for everybody," said Jo DeBruycker, manager of the Health Learning Center at ACMC.

ACMC officials announced today that they're suspending flu shot appointments until another shipment of vaccine arrives. When that happens, some time in late October to early November, the regional multi-specialty clinic will resume scheduling for flu shot appointments.

"We'll be picking right back up and completing the people who are still waiting," DeBruycker said. "It won't be that much of a wait. We know there's more coming so we don't want people to worry."

ACMC still has some vaccine left but is using it for patients considered at high risk of severe illness or complications from influenza, she said.

"If you're high-risk and you're in for an appointment, you'll get the vaccine," she said.

So far, ACMC has given more than 18,000 doses of seasonal influenza vaccine at its 11 medical clinics.

Several medical providers around the state have already used up their initial supply of seasonal flu vaccine, while others are still waiting to get their first shipment, Minnesota Department of Health officials said Wednesday.

"So many Minnesotans have been responding to our calls to get vaccinated early for seasonal influenza this year that the supply in the pipeline hasn't been able to keep up with the demand," said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease, epidemiology and control division for the state Health Department.

More vaccine is on the way, "so keep checking back with your provider to find out when they will have it," she said.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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