Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Health board nixes nasal mist for flu vaccine
By Ed Gebert
CELINA - The flu vaccine will not be offered as a nasal mist during the coming 2016-2017 flu season.
Julia Shaffer, Mercer County-Celina City Health Department director of nursing and communicable disease coordinator, said on Wednesday the vaccine will be administered only by injection due to a recent study showing the mist form to be ineffective.
The Centers for Disease Control recommended the live attenuated influenza vaccine (nasal mist) not be used, she said. The injected flu vaccine is still recommended for everyone at least 6 months old.
Shaffer said the study followed "two previous seasons, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, that (both) showed poor or lower-than-expected vaccine effectiveness for the nasal mist."
In the past, the nasal mist has been an option for people between the ages of 2 and 49. Shaffer noted individuals chose which method they preferred.
"People either loved the mist or they hated the mist, it was all a personal preference on what they wanted," she said.
The CDC will publish a final recommendation for the upcoming flu season sometime in late summer or early fall, Shaffer said. The health department will have its annual flu drive, offering drive-thru service for the vaccination from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.
Shaffer also said new state requirements for additional vaccinations for students caused the department to give more shots. The health department administered 1,326 county-funded vaccines and 225 federally funded vaccines during June.
The state requires seventh-graders to have a dose of TDAP to prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis and the meningitis vaccine before returning to school. Students entering 12th grade must receive a second dose of the meningitis vaccine unless the first dose was administered before the student's 16th birthday.
Shaffer also reported the county had two cases of cryptosporidium in a small, private swimming pool during June and one in July. Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that often causes a gastrointestinal illness.
Health commissioner Amy Poor reported the department has hired two part-time clerical employees to replace one full-time position. During the hiring process, two qualified people were found who may be able to work as consultants in the accreditation process on a contract basis.
Poor will send out sample information sheets to township trustees to let them know the time and expense being undertaken to meet state deadlines for county health department accreditation. The deadline to apply is July 1, 2018, and accreditation must be complete by July 1, 2020.
As an example, she noted the Public Health Accreditation Advisory Board fees for the Columbiana County Health Department will be $34,000 annually.
Accreditation coordinator Jason Menchhofer distributed a state checklist and noted the county's progress.
"There are many things on the checklist that we have completed and most of the rest are underway," he said. "By those standards, we're sitting pretty good at this point."
Department personnel still need to compile documentation for submission to the state's electronic system, which will take a lot of time.
The board approved a resolution setting aside $15,000 in state grant funds to help pay for expected application expenses.
In other action, board members gave first reading to a resolution modifying program fees for temporary campgrounds of more than 50 sites and adding a fee for ServSafe examination proctoring at $50 per examinee. Passing the exam is an educational requirement for certain people in food service facilities.
Officials passed a resolution to accept a Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant into a new account and appropriate $34,190 for the 2016 portion of the grant.
They also passed a resolution to buy two computer monitors for $157 each.
Board members also passed a variance for Dave Vagedes of Vagedes Farm Drainage to complete his required six hours of continuing education credit to renew his 2016 registration as a septic service provider.