Sunday, January 09, 2005

CALIFORNIA / Health officials lift flu vaccine limits in state / Surplus of 400,000 adult doses makes shots available to all

Facing a huge surplus of unused influenza vaccine, California health authorities said Friday that all remaining flu shots were now available to anyone in the state who wanted one.

State Public Health Officer Dr. Richard J. Jackson lifted all the restrictions imposed in October after half the nation's flu vaccine supply was lost to contamination problems at an English factory owned by Chiron Corp. of Emeryville.

The state Department of Health Services currently has on hand more than 400,000 adult doses of vaccine and 265,000 doses formulated for children. Individual physicians may order the vaccine from the state and administer shots to any patient.

"It is not too late to get a flu shot,'' said Jackson. "Flu season has not yet reached its peak in California, and there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated."

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