With September and the return of school, Iowans know it won’t be long till fall and winter — and cold and flu season. Kevin Teale, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Public Health, says plans are already sketched out for vaccinating those who’ll need protection against viruses.Figures from the federal government show there’ll be vaccine available, and while there won’t be enough to give everyone a shot there WILL be more than we’ve had available the last few years. The health department will make sure there’s enough by asking doctors first to give shots to the “high-risk” people. Those are elderly people, over 65; people living in longterm care facilities; and people with chronic health conditions. Once those folks have gotten the vaccine, by about the end of October, they’ll open it up to anybody who’d like to have a flu shot this year. Chiron, a British company that makes much of the supply of flu vaccine, had problems last year that cut off about half the normal U-S supply, but the lab has just passed an FDA inspection and will again be a major supplier this winter. Right now that lab will produce vaccine this year, and while it won’t all be ready right away, throughout the winter about 20 million doses are expected from that factory.
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