Minnesota health officials launch online forum for flu vaccines

Health officials in Minnesota recently set up an online forum that clinics can use to exchange information about the availability of the flu vaccine.

Viral illness is still widespread in Minnesota, but some clinics have run out of the vaccine. Demand for the protective immunization remains high, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The Minnesota Department of Health is attempting to fix the problem by setting up an online forum where clinics can exchange information about vaccine doses needed or extra vaccine doses available. The forum may allow vaccine doses purchased from private companies to be redistributed to the clinics in need.

Minnesota health officials said that there is still plenty of vaccine available, though some clinics, such as pediatric clinics, went through their supplies faster than anticipated.

Last week, the number of flu cases and hospitalizations dropped in the state. Health officials said it is too early to determine if the flu season in Minnesota has reached its peak, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

This year's flu season has claimed the lives of 75 people, exceeding the total of the 2009-2010 flu season. Most of the deaths were people 65 years old or above. During the third week of January, there were 208 people hospitalized with confirmed cases of flu, the Star Tribune reports.