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October 19, 2009


Low vaccine supply forces flu shot limits

Heart Beating
Dr. Diane Sipkin checks out flu immunizations at the campus Health Center.

High demand and a lower than expected supply of seasonal flu vaccine have forced Sacramento State’s Health Center to limit its immunizations to only those students in high risk categories. Immunizations are closed for faculty and staff.

The clinic has immunized 900 members of the campus community since the arrival of the seasonal flu vaccine early last month. But the nation-wide production of the vaccine has not kept pace with the demand, says Lisa Johnson, associate director, Clinical Operations. Part of the reason is that manufacturers have shifted their focus to the Novel H1N1 influenza, Johnson says.

The Health Center will only have 100 immunizations available for the upcoming Natural High Health Fair Wednesday, Oct. 21 and is restricting current operations to students considered to be at high risk due to underlying medical conditions.

“We’ve been looking everywhere,” Johnson says, adding that they have more vaccine on back-order and are hoping they’ll be able to secure 100 or 200 more doses from other suppliers.

Clinic officials are also waiting for the arrival of the first H1N1 immunizations. Those are expected to come in around the end of October, Johnson says.

Meanwhile, anyone displaying flu symptoms is urged to stay home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.


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