UCSF Gives Flu Vaccine to High-Risk Patients

October 21, 2004
Contact: Flu Hotline (415) 353-3505

Due to the shortage in flu vaccine this year, UCSF Medical Center will immunize only high-risk patients with its existing supply of flu vaccine until it can obtain an additional supply. UCSF has received only a portion of the doses of adult and child flu vaccine that it order in preparation for this year's flu season. However, every effort is being made to obtain more doses.

The top priority during this shortage is to vaccinate high-risk patients, according to Dr. John Conte, director of epidemiology and infection control at UCSF Medical Center.

Who Is Considered High-Risk?

High-risk patients are those at increased risk for serious complications from the flu, including:

  • All children between 6 and 23 months of age
  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Persons between 2 and 64 years of age who have an underlying chronic medical condition, including people who:
  • All women who will be pregnant during the flu season, especially those with a high-risk pregnancy and those who will be in their third trimester between December and February
  • Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are receiving chronic aspirin therapy

For patients with other underlying diseases such as diabetes, those who require hemodialysis, patients with certain blood disorders and those with neuromuscular disorders, it is up to their doctor's discretion. In addition, due to the shortage of flu vaccine, out-of-home caregivers and those who take care of children less than 6 months of age are encouraged to seek alternate locations for immunization.

Those who think that they are at increased risk for developing flu complications should talk with their doctor about getting vaccinated.

For information on prevention, symptoms, transmission, diagnosis and treatment, see Facts About the Flu.

To learn more about the vaccine shortage, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at cdc.gov.

Other Resources

Find more information about the flu vaccine shortage and where you may be able to obtain vaccination by:

  • Calling Maxim Health Systems at (877) 962-9358 to find a Maxim sponsored flu clinic in your neighborhood
  • Visiting www.findaflushot.com for locations in your neighborhood
  • Checking the Brown and Toland Flu Hotline at (415) 972-6006, if you are part of that health plan, to learn about their flu clinics
  • Contacting the UCSF Flu Hotline at (415) 353-3505 for updates on vaccine status