Health care professionals are asking for help from the healthy. Faced with a serious shortage of flu vaccine, those at lesser risk are being asked to forgo flu shots this season.
Here in the heartland, healthcare providers have started to ration the supply so that those who really need a shot can get one.
Westside Schools had planned to offer a flu shot clinic to its students, staff and members of the community but that's now changed.
Westside's Ken Baldwin says, "There are so many people who need the flu shot, we are going to pursue another path of good health through our wellness committee. We're going to encourage them to eat well, wash their hands, watch when they sneeze and cough."
The Nebraska Medical Center is putting the brakes on its drive-through vaccination program in order to conserve the shots for those most in need.
The drive-through clinic at Clarkson West planned for 6 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 7, 2004 has been canceled.
The Medical Center's Mike Powell says, "We made the decision that we really needed to reserve our product for the high risk population that are out there, people who are at the highest risk for developing flu and most important for having serious events related to becoming infected."
Those groups that are at risk of getting the flu include, people over the age of 65, children six to 23-months-old, people with chronic health problems, pregnant women and healthcare workers who have direct patient contact.
If you are included in that group you might want to call your doctor to make sure you get your shot this year..
Those who are otherwise are encouraged to wait or even skip the shot this year to make sure those in that high risk category can get their shots first.