Government Shutdown Puts Flu Shots in Jeopardy - NECN

Government Shutdown Puts Flu Shots in Jeopardy

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    Government shutdown puts flu shots in jeopardy

    Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass. holding public walk-in flu clinic, encouraging people to get their vaccinations now (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Kristen Carosa) - A public walk-in flu clinic vaccinated hundreds Wednesday. It’s part of a two-day program at Quinisigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass.

    “I think it’s so important that we reach out to the community and we just want to promote that throughout campus,” says nursing graduate Lindsey Hamilton.

    The clinic comes at a good time. Just as the flu season gets underway, the country's influenza program has been stopped.

    Due to the government shutdown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention won't be able to operate. The CDC monitors the spread of the flu and figures out how to best direct vaccine programs.

    “We don't know how long the shutdown will last so it’s very important that they take advantage of the clinics happening now around the community,” says clinical nurse specialist Susan Johnson.

    She says QCC was able to hold their clinic because they had already received vaccine. Johnson says other agencies that are waiting for the flu shot may not get it until the government is back up and running.

    But there are other clinics that will happen around the community.

    Johnson is urging people to head out as soon as they can to get their shot.

    “The prime month for the flu is January and February so if you get it now in October, that should cover you for the entire flu season,” she says.

    The college will hold another clinic on Thursday on campus. Faculty, students and the public are urged to get immunized.

    “Anyone above the age of six months should absolutely get the flu shot, whether you are healthy or if you haven't gotten the flu before, it’s important to stop the spread of this illness,” she says.

    “Get out there and get your family vaccinated,” Hamilton says. “It’s really important and spread the word.”