Flu Shot Shortage in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/7/04

Flu Shot Shortage in Lubbock

Several health clinics in Lubbock are waiting on how federal regulators will handle this massive shortage. Right now, the City Health Department will have to turn away people who want the flu shot.

4-year-old Trey will be the only one in his family that can receive the flu vaccination today. His 2-year-old sister, Marissa can not. Neither can mom, Ruth Robillard. "They said they might get some more in. They probably will get some more in. Hopefully," said Ruth.

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The Lubbock Health Department does not have vaccines for adults, or for infants under 3-years-old. 50 million flu doses were recalled nationally and now supplies have been put on hold. Even in Lubbock.

"They said they would send another shipment mid-October. Another shipment first of November. But that was two weeks ago. Now I haven't heard anything else. Could be that my shipment comes in next week. I'm praying it does," said Beckie Brawley, Public Health Coordinator with the city of Lubbock.

NewsChannel 11 asked the Texas Department of Health Services when Lubbock can expect shipments. "That's a good question. But that's not one we can answer right now. We hope to be getting more information very quickly," answered Barry Wilson, Regional Epidemiologist.

Brawley says the city's health department has been guaranteed 3,000 flu doses. But those will only be available for high risk folks.

But for now, Ruth will have to wait. However, she's more worried about when she can vaccinate Marissa. "It's really important to me because I really don't like for them to be sick. Anything that requires them to be in the hospital frightens me," she said.

As far as we know, there is no place for adults to receive their flu shots. United Supermarkets officials say their order for the flu vaccine was cancelled. Covenant Health Clinics may receive their shipment next week. We were unable to get a hold of someone at University Medical Center. Healthy adults are asked to defer their flu shot this year, but an alternative for you is a nasal spray that is available at United Supermarkets for $24.

High Risk Include:

  • 6 months to 23 months
  • 65 and older
  • 2 to 64-years-old with chronic health problems.
  • Pregnant during flu season nursing home residents health care workers out of home care givers and household members who contact with less than 6-months-old.
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