10/31/06 — Flu battle set to begin

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Flu battle set to begin

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 31, 2006 1:46 PM

Goldsboro Pediatrics has received an adequate supply of flu vaccines, with no sign of an outbreak at this point, Dr. David Tayloe said Monday.

Tayloe's office began offering the flu shots last Thursday, he said, with one case of flu diagnosed on Friday with the rapid flu test.

"I worked the weekend and did not see anyone else that I thought had flu," he said.

There is no concern about an epidemic, Tayloe said, although some physicians saw youngsters who had fevers.

Earlier in the month, a delay had been announced in production and distribution of the vaccine for young children. The year's U.S. supply was delayed by three weeks, with this week given as the target for physicians to receive their supply.

Tayloe said last week that the Goldsboro site had received an adequate number of doses but he was concerned about the other three sites -- Mount Olive, LaGrange and Princeton.

By week's end, though, enough of the vaccines were received for all offices to begin providing shots, he said.

"It's been like every little baby that comes into the office is getting a flu shot if they possibly can," he said.

While he could not estimate a final tally, Tayloe said the Goldsboro office typically sees more than 300 patients a day, most of them very young children. Mount Olive generally sees about 100 patients a day, he added, while Princeton and LaGrange average about 50 daily.

"We're making a dent in this pretty quickly. We'll be gaining on this by offering it," he said. "So far, our supplies have stayed OK in the three days we have been doing it."

It appears, he said, that more companies are producing the vaccine and there are more doses available now than in recent years.

"I have been told they'll continue to send us vaccines into January, so the supply should be much better than the last couple of years," he said.

Still, he noted it will be a struggle to get two doses of flu vaccine to all the youngsters who need it.

"The first is protective in most of the kids, but the formal recommendation is two doses (one month apart) for the first year," he said. "We're doing the best we can to get two doses in before December."

In previous years, he said he recalls his office giving out the first dose but then running out before the second could be administered.

"Now that we might have a decent supply," he said, "we're trying to make sure we get the second dose in."

Tayloe said there is no cause for alarm this early in the season.

"I do not remember a flu epidemic here that occurred before December in my almost 30 years working in Goldsboro," he said.