Dec 17, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – To keep influenza vaccine from going to waste, the government announced today that more people will be eligible to receive flu shots starting Jan 3 where supplies are adequate.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people aged 50 to 64 and those who care for or share a household with people in high-risk groups will be included in vaccination priority groups as of Jan 3, provided local health authorities determine that the vaccine supply is sufficient.The change was recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).”In most communities we’re still targeting vaccine to the people in the highest priority groups,” said CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD. “The challenge is that in some places, health departments and private providers currently do not have enough demand from people in those priority groups. We don’t want those doses to go to waste, so some states are expanding to make good use of those doses. The ACIP’s recommendation is consistent with this approach.”Because of the flu vaccine shortage, the CDC previously had recommended that doses be reserved for children aged 6 to 23 months, people 65 and older, the chronically ill, pregnant women, nursing-home and long-term care residents, children on chronic aspirin therapy, healthcare workers involved in direct patient care, and caregivers and household contacts of babies under 6 months old.The ACIP suggested implementing the change Jan 3 to allow time for unvaccinated people in current priority groups to seek shots.The ACIP also passed a resolution expanding the groups eligible to receive flu shots under the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, the CDC said. Effective immediately, VFC-eligible children who are household contacts of people in high-risk groups are eligible for vaccination, the committee said.Today’s announcement was foreshadowed last week, when the CDC suggested that the vaccination guidelines could be broadened in states that still had vaccine doses left in the private sector after meeting the demand from priority groups.
Three thousand miles away, the USC women’s tennis team is making some noise.Just one day removed from becoming the first pair of Women of Troy to reach the semifinals of the ITA Indoor Doubles Championships, sophomore Kaitlyn Christian and freshman Sabrina Santamaria took it one step further on Sunday by defeating Notre Dame’s Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., to become ITA National Indoor doubles champions.The win marks the most successful tournament run for a women’s doubles tandem since Christian and now-departed Maria Sanchez advanced to the NCAA women’s semifinals in May 2011.This year’s duo, however, could turn out to be even more formidable.Santamaria has enjoyed early success since taking the court for the Women of Troy. She burst onto the scene by winning the ITA Women’s Southwest Regionals in San Diego two weeks ago, and carried that momentum into the doubles tournament. Christian recently advanced to the semifinals of the Jack Kramer Invitational this past week.Christian was quick to credit the newcomer Santamaria for the historic win.“It’s so nice to have her at USC,” Christian said. “She’s a banger at the baseline and I like to be all over the net. That can’t complement any better.”Santamaria, following her teammate’s lead, deflected the credit.“I never thought this would happen,” she said upon reaching the finals. “[Christian’s] carrying me. It’s all her.”In the championship match, it was Santamaria who shouldered the heavy load. She held in each of her service games to overcome five breaks of Christian’s serve.“I was really focused,” Santamaria said. “I knew I had to hold my serve every single time, and if I didn’t we probably would not have won.”After splitting the first two sets, Christian’s serve was broken after she switched to an underhand serve. That brought the Fighting Irish within 4-3 and in control of the serve. But Christian redeemed herself by putting away a volley on break point to take a 5-3 lead.Santamaria served out the next game to clinch the victory, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.Though their experience playing together at USC is fairly new, Christian and Santamaria actually have a history together. The two were partnered together during their junior career, which began in the Girls’ 14s division of the USTA junior tournaments.Even though they are just setting out on their USC tennis careers, Christian and Santamaria have already left their mark in the USC history books. They are the first USC doubles team — male or female — to win the doubles championship at the tournament.
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