State health officials say a sufficient amount of flu vaccine is now available for everyone in Iowa. State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk says the Health Department had asked that the vaccine only be given to “high-risk” individuals. She says they now believe that most of those people have been vaccinated.Quinlisk says you can get a flu shot now and still be protected for the rest of the winter.There have only been two reported cases of the flu in Iowa so far this year. Quinlisk says it’s important to get a flu shot because there are three strains of the flu floating around this year.Quinlisk says the flu hasn’t been a problem in the Midwest yet.The director of the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health questions whether there is enough vaccine available to meet the need. Ron Osterholm says the state has not told him anything about more flu vaccine being available. He says his county still has a shortage of the vaccine. Osterholm says the statement from the State Department of Public Health has caused serious problems for his office today as the phone lines have been jammed with people wanting to get the vaccine. Osterholm says the state health officials have only created “havoc” for several counties today where the flu vaccine is still in very short supply.Osterholm says Cerro Gordo County is only administering flu shots to people over age 65 and to those with chronic health problems.
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