WPR News
7:41 am
Fri July 7, 2006

State Mulls Buying Anti-Flu Shots

Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Department of Health has told
federal officials the state is interested in buying more than 50-thousand doses of anti-flu medicine in case of a possible pandemic outbreak.
But Health Department Director Doctor Brent Sherard says he still has some reservations about buying the drugs. He says Wyoming won't make a final decision on the purchase for months to come.
As part of its preparations for how to respond to a possible flu pandemic, the federal government is stockpiling doses of the drug Tamiflu and other medications.
Sherard says federal officials have told Wyoming that the state is entitled to about 74-thousand doses of Tamiflu from federal supplies.
In addition, Sherard says the federal government would cover part of the cost for up to 53-thousand more doses.
But there are logistical problems. Sherard says Tamiflu has a shelf life of about five years, and the state hasn't determined where it would store the drug.
Sherard says he's also doesn't want the public to rely too much on Tamiflu. He says it generally only reduces the duration of flu illness by about a day.