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L.A. County to Get More Flu Vaccine

Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles County health officials announced Friday that they would soon receive another major shipment of flu vaccine, but did not know how much.

The new batch is part of 315,000 doses acquired by the California Department of Health Services, which is charged with allocating the vaccine to the state’s local health departments.

“We don’t know how much exactly we’re getting,” said Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County’s director of public health. “When we do, we’ll announce when and where our clinics will be.”

The new doses will be available only to those in high-risk categories -- adults 65 or older, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, residents of nursing homes and healthcare workers in direct contact with patients.

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The nation’s flu vaccine supply was cut in half last month after British regulators suspended the license of a Chiron Corp. pharmaceutical plant in Liverpool, England, because of possible contamination.

Los Angeles County received 15,000 new doses last week and 60,000 doses late last month, which are being distributed to nursing facilities and public clinics today and next Saturday.

New clinics could be scheduled as soon as Nov. 23, a Tuesday, because the county received complaints about giving flu shots on a Saturday, which conflicts with the Jewish holy day of the Sabbath, Fielding said.

Robert Miller, a spokesman for the state Department of Health Services, said the federal government is expected to ship 844,000 more doses of flu vaccine to California in the coming months.


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