Minnesota has only half the flu vaccine it needs
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Health Department said Monday that only half of the vaccine needed to meet demand across the state is available, and the agency asked businesses and clinics that ordered extra vaccine to sell some to nursing homes.
The agency said a survey of cities, clinics and nursing homes show there are 414,000 doses available -- and another 377,000 needed. Nursing homes, however, have virtually no vaccine because most of them order it from the British vaccine-maker Chiron, which has been shut down, the Health Department said.
At least 70 of 87 counties have responded to the survey.
"Our primary objective right now is to help get the limited supply of vaccine to those who need it most," said Kris Ehresmann, head of the agency's immunization program. "We simply cannot let long-term care facilities go without vaccine, particularly because these people don't even have the option to go to walk-in clinics."
She said some companies, such as 3M, Polaris and Marvin Windows, have agreed to share some of the vaccine normally set aside for their employees.