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Reuters New Media
Healthy People Will Have to Wait for Flu Shots

October 25, 2000
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Healthy people who want to get flu shots will just have to wait for them, the nation's top doctor said on Wednesday.

They said a delay in getting enough influenza vaccine doses manufactured this year meant a large supply would not be available until late November or early December.

"So we are urging, through the month of November, that health care providers focus first on immunizing the elderly and the chronically ill -- those groups who are most at risk," Surgeon-General Dr. David Satcher told a news conference.

High-risk groups include anyone older than 65, anyone who has immune suppression because of cancer treatment, HIV infection or some other cause, anyone who will be past the first trimester of pregnancy during flu season, or anyone who is a health care worker or anyone who has regular contact with people in the high-risk group.

Healthy people who are not at risk are asked to wait until December. Flu season normally peaks in January and lasts through March, so getting vaccinated in December will leave plenty of time for immunity to take effect, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.