WATSEKA — The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department has run out of flu vaccine and has canceled its remaining two walk-in vaccination clinics as a result.
The health department ordered 1,200 doses of the vaccine this year, down from 1,800 in 2012. Officials said many people were getting the vaccine from pharmacies instead.
According to Dee Ann Schippert, community and school health coordinator for the agency, there are no plans to order more vaccine, and any decision to do so will be made by the board of health.
"I wish we had the flu vaccine on hand to provide to the citizens of our bi-county jurisdiction for the remaining two public clinics. Unfortunately, we do not," Schippert said. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
Persons who have not yet received the seasonal flu vaccine and wish to do so may contact their health care provider or local pharmacy.
The canceled public flu clinics include the Oct. 23 clinic at the ARC of Iroquois County in Watseka and the Oct. 24 clinic at the American Lutheran Church in Gibson City in Ford County.
In the meantime, Schippert encourages residents to use common precautions to reduce their risk of getting the flu including:
— Washing hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, and wiping or blowing the nose.
— Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
— Using paper tissues when wiping or blowing your nose; throw tissues away after use.
— Staying away from crowded living and sleeping spaces.
— Staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to protect them if you have an illness.
For more information regarding seasonal flu, visit http://www.fiphd.org.