01/23/06 — Health Board supports flu vaccine proposal

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Health Board supports flu vaccine proposal

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 23, 2006 1:50 PM

The Wayne County Board of Health has decided to support a state movement designed to change how flu vaccines are paid for and distributed in North Carolina.

Health Director James Roosen told the board that health departments had been asked by the state to take a resolution in support of vaccinating adults to their boards and county commissioners to enlist support before the proposal goes to state and federal legislators.

The resolution "deals with the importance of vaccinating adults. While we have very good vaccination rates among children, there's a lot to be desired of our rates for adults," Roosen told the board at its meeting Wednesday. "We already have a system in place that makes state and federal supplied vaccinations available for children. We just want to do the same thing for adults."

In recent years, supplies have tended to go the "highest bidder," he said, blocking access for some high-risk groups.

"Our goal is to make it available so that everybody in North Carolina has greater access to the vaccine," he said.

Providing necessary funding will ensure that bulk supplies can be made available to everyone, he said.

"There's always a lot of stress among providers - how many doses will we get, when will it get here?" he said. "We feel if we have guaranteed prices, we can meet the needs and demands."

The resolution will also allow for more control over how the vaccine will be distributed, Roosen said. The hope is that rules for providers will be created, along with a criteria for high-risk groups.

"One of the goals for this resolution is redistributing (vaccines) based on needs. Traditionally we have been doing that," he said. "We redistributed 1,300 vaccines this year in Wayne County.

"One of our main focuses was just to make sure the right people get the vaccine. Those are some of the decisions we have already been making."