Federal government shutdown not affecting local flu shots

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 | 1:51 p.m. CDT; updated 7:05 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 9, 2013

COLUMBIA — The federal government shutdown hasn't affected the flu shot supply at local pharmacies and health centers in Columbia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a supplier of flu vaccine, has been closed since the shutdown occurred on Oct. 1.

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But the Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, the MU Student Health Center and several pharmacies — HyVee, Walgreens and Gerbes — said they have a good supply of the vaccine which they expect to last for the next two months.

"The government shutdown has not caused any delay in our shots," said Pam Roe, information specialist at the MU Student Health Center. "We order our first round of shots in early spring, and then it is delivered to us in the fall."

The MU Student Health Center will begin giving flu shots tomorrow at the School of Nursing. The shot clinic scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled because the center is waiting for the vaccine to arrive from its supplier, Novartis.

However, the shutdown is affecting tracking. The CDC will not be able to monitor the number of influenza cases reported across the nation. "FluView," the weekly flu tracker, has not been updated since the shutdown.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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