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By MARTY FINLEY
HARDIN COUNTY — Fort Knox announced Wednesday that Ireland Army Community Hospital’s Flu Vaccine Clinic has temporarily closed because of a limited supply of the seasonal flu vaccine.
The clinic is expected to re-open next week when a new shipment of the vaccine arrives, according to a statement issued by Fort Knox. The post will issue a notification alerting the military community of eligibility, times and locations for further immunizations.
In the meantime, children aged 6 months to 9 years can continue to receive the vaccine at the Immunization Clinic, located in the hospital near the Family Care Clinic on the basement level, according to the statement.
Calls to several public affairs officers at Fort Knox were not returned Wednesday.
Meanwhile, local health organizations are mobilizing community clinics this week to administer the vaccine.
A community seasonal flu clinic is scheduled today at Pritchard Community Center from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with shots costing $23. Passport and Medicare B will be accepted but users must bring their cards for verification.
Wendy Keown, director of outreach services for the Lincoln Trail District Health Department, said the demand has been pretty average this year in the department’s coverage area, though a slight up tick has been reported in Hardin County. Keown credited it to the increased awareness of the flu this year and said she believes the department has an adequate supply of seasonal vaccine to meet demand.
“Hopefully there won’t be an issue,” she said.
The health department also offers free vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, shingles and pneumonia through grant money awarded to the Kentucky Department of Public Health. The shots will be distributed by appointment to adults for a $10 administrative fee.
Hardin Memorial Hospital has seen an increased demand for the flu vaccine but expects enough will be available, said Michelle Murphy, director of marketing and public relations.
She also encouraged residents to look at alternative avenues for treatment.
“Various other seasonal flu vaccine locations are available throughout the county and also include such locations as your neighborhood pharmacies,” Murphy said in an e-mail. “The public should check with their local pharmacy to see if they accept Medicare part B or private insurance to … assist with this preventative health care measure. Hardin Memorial Hospital flu clinics do not bill a patient’s insurance.”
HMH is hosting a seasonal flu clinic Friday at CareFirst Urgent Care Center in Radcliff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its Wellness on Wheels mobile health unit. The cost is $25, cash or check. Medicare B is also accepted, but cards are required.
An additional HMH seasonal flu clinic is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 at the South Hardin Family Care Center in Sonora.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.