Vaccine for all

Public health officials in Oregon have lifted restrictions on who may obtain a flu vaccine.

The announcement means that doctors and health care providers are now free to give flu shots to anyone who requests them.

Because of a vaccine shortage late last year, the Center for Disease Control had limited flu shots to the elderly, children under 2 and people with various health problems considered at risk.

Last month, the restrictions were loosened to allow shots for people 50 and older, as well as out-of-home caregivers and people who have household contact with those at risk, to receive.

"Even with these loosened restrictions, we are at a point where our supply of vaccine is exceeding demand," state public health officer Dr. Grant Higginson said in a statement. "Allowing broader dispersal of vaccine to any Oregonian who wants a flu shot will help ensure that all doses are used and will benefit the entire population by reducing disease transmission."