People planning to get their seasonal flu shots through St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital in Lehighton, Palmerton and Jim Thorpe will have to go elsewhere.

The hospital has canceled the shots due to a shortage of vaccine, said hospital spokeswoman Andrea Visnosky. St. Luke's will schedule the shots again if more vaccine becomes available.

The hospital had expected to give the shots today (Tuesday, Nov. 3) at the Lehighton Recreation Center, Wednesday at the Palmerton Ambulance building and next Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Penn/Kidder Senior Center in Jim Thorpe.

Also, St. Luke's is temporarily limiting patient visitation to visitors 18 years of age and older. Limiting visitors helps protect the patients and health care workers. It also helps avoid possible exposure of young visitors to patients being treated for influenza.

St. Luke's will carefully monitor visitation criteria as the influenza season continues.

"We realize this temporary policy might cause inconvenience for some families, but as health care providers, it is our responsibility to protect our patients and our employees, as well as the children of this region whose age puts them at risk for contracting H1N1 influenza," the hospital said.