The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed its guidelines for flu vaccination because the nation’s major supplier of the vaccine announced Tuesday (Oct. 5) that the supply scheduled for future distribution to health care centers was contaminated.
At this time, and subject to change in the future, the CDC is recommending that only high-risk groups receive the remaining vaccinations, and that healthy adults defer receiving the vaccine. In compliance with these guidelines, Harvard University Health Services (UHS) will continue to operate its October flu clinics, but for the immediate future will only be vaccinating high-risk patients who meet the following criteria:
- All children ages 6-23 months
- Adults ages 65 and older
- Persons ages 2-64 with underlying chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, cardiac disease, and immunocompromised individuals
- All women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
- Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
- Children 6 months-18 years of age on chronic aspirin therapy
- Health care workers
- Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children under 6 monthsDuring the October clinics, UHS will be screening everyone who arrives for high-risk status before providing a vaccination. It is UHS’s hope that vaccines from alternative sources will be available at some point in the future, but for now, UHS will be limiting vaccinations to people included in the CDC guidelines. Faculty, students, and staff should check UHS’s Web site (http://www.huhs.harvard.edu/) and the Gazette for schedules and informational updates.