MDCH Issues Public Health Order Conserving Influenza Vaccine For High Priority Populations

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

October 15, 2004

Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Director Janet Olszewski issued a Public Health Order on Wednesday that strictly limits existing influenza vaccine only to high-risk individuals in Michigan. Olszewski said the order was issued as a precaution to ensure that those at highest risk will receive the influenza vaccination.

“We have received great cooperation from thousands of providers around the state since receiving notification of the flu vaccine shortage nationwide, but far too much anecdotal evidence still exists that some providers are not following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines,” Olszewski said. “We want to provide as much support to local physicians as possible, and this Public Health Order will give them guidance.”

The order requires all health care providers in Michigan to limit influenza vaccine to persons in high-risk categories. The order also requires health care providers that possess vaccine to cooperate with local health officials to assess and coordinate supply to protect high-risk individuals. Michigan is the fourth state nationwide to issue such an order.

The Public Health Order limits the influenza vaccine to the following populations:

  • All children aged 6 to 23 months,
  • Adults aged 65 and older,
  • Persons aged two to 64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions,
  • All women who will be pregnant during influenza season,
  • Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities,
  • Children, aged 6 months to 18 years of age, on chronic aspirin therapy
  • Health-care workers with direct patient care, and
  • Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than six months of age.

Under Michigan’s Public Health Code, Olszewski – as Michigan’s State Public Health Officer – is granted broad statutory authority to safeguard Michigan citizens if she believes the public health to be at risk.

A full copy of the Public Health Order can be found at www.michigan.gov/mdch.