City to offer flu shots for children, high-risk residents

December 26, 2003|By David Kohn | David Kohn,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore City Health Department has received more than 700 doses of flu vaccine and will be offering free injections Monday.

About 500 doses are from Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had a surplus and donated it to the Health Department. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene supplied 210 doses.

"It's a great holiday gift for the citizens of Baltimore. We'll be putting it to good use," said Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, the city health commissioner.

During the past week, demand for the vaccine has decreased at Hopkins, said Dr. Beryl Rosenstein, vice president for medical affairs at the hospital. The hospital expected to have more vaccine than it would use and decided to give away doses.

"We thought it was better to have people use it than to have it sitting around," Rosenstein said. "It's an early holiday present to the city."

The city clinic will be held at the Clarence H. Du Burns Arena at 1301 S. Ellwood Ave.

From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the clinic will vaccinate children 6 months old to 23 months old. From 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the clinic will vaccinate anyone older than 4 who is at high risk for complications from flu. No one outside these two groups will be eligible for injections, which will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

The high-risk population includes anyone older than 65, women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during flu season, adults and children with chronic health problems (including asthma, lung problems, kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes), and those with HIV or AIDS.

Since October, the Health Department has provided more than 4,500 flu vaccine doses to Baltimore residents.

Information: 410-396-4454.

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