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Local Flu Shot Effort

Local residents assist seniors with flu shot vaccines before the supply is gone.

Flu Sot Effort in Sherman Oaks, California

On Friday, October 15th, local residents lined the sidewalks in front of the Rite Aid at the corner of Fulton and Riverside in Sherman Oaks for flu shots. The immunizations were provided by Maxim Health Systems, and high risk residents in the neighborhood had been contacted by Charlotte Laws of the Greater Valley Glen Council and volunteers from Sherman Oaks and Studio City.

Due to bacteria contamination, British regulators ended shipments from Chiron Corp., one of the only two flu shot suppliers for the U.S. market.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta recommended that the shots only be given to those high risk categories, such as people over 65, pregnant women, and children from six to 23 months. It is a misdemeanor in some parts of the country to administer a flu shot to someone not in a high-risk category.

"We tried to target nursing homes and organizations for seniors," said Charlotte Laws. "90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people over 65. It's a shame that healthy, low-risk people all over America have been rushing to be first in line."

"I hate waiting out here on the sidewalk, but they're getting me a chair," said Miriam Greenwood of Sherman Oaks. "I want to make sure I get my shot before its too late."

Los Angeles County has cancelled 189 flu shot clinics that were scheduled to start next week due to a shortage of supply. Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

Complications from the flu cause about 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations per year nationwide. The numbers are expected to be higher this winter.

Valley Newswire
October 15, 2004

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