November 4, 2009

Genesis VNA Postpones Seasonal Flu Clinics

Delayed shipments of seasonal influenza vaccine, in addition to higher demand, have forced Genesis Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice to temporarily postpone upcoming public flu clinics.

Genesis VNA and Hospice has been awaiting shipments of 1,000 additional doses for its clinics in Scott, Rock Island and Clinton counties.

Beginning Oct. 15, Genesis VNA HAS postponeD the remaining scheduled clinics. Depending on the arrival of additional seasonal flu vaccine, the clinics could be rescheduled.

The postponement will not have any impact on the upcoming Flu-Free Quad Cities project to vaccinate elementary school children, nor will it have any impact on H1N1 flu vaccination plans.  Genesis already has 3,000 pediatric doses of seasonal flu vaccine for Flu-Free Quad Cities and has been promised delivery of 5,000 additional doses.  The Flu-Free Quad Cities vaccinations in more than 80 schools will begin next week.

“We are anticipating that more of our order will arrive and we will be able to reschedule public clinics,” explained Michelle Cullen, Community Health Manager, Genesis VNA and Hospice.  “We have to make sure we can serve the highest-risk patients in senior housing and assisted living and we still have vaccine to serve those needs.

“It isn’t just the fact that we haven’t received a large part of our order that led us to this decision. We have also seen higher demand from the public this year.  More than 200 people are coming to some of our clinics.”

Temporary shortages of seasonal flu vaccine have been experienced all over the country as manufacturers switched from production and shipment of seasonal flu vaccine to H1N1 flu vaccine.

“Currently we are not seeing any seasonal influenza in the community. Normally, the seasonal influenza begins in the December-January time frame, so we should still have plenty of time to vaccinate those interested when our supply of seasonal vaccine is replenished,” said Jim Lehman, M.D., Vice President of Quality, Genesis Health System.

For the latest updates on the flu clinics, please visit the Flu section at