Flu Shot Shortage Causes Concerns for Lubbockites - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/13/04

Flu Shot Shortage Causes Concerns for Lubbockites

More help is on the way in the fight against the flu. The Lubbock Health Department will soon receive about 750 doses of the vaccine that will be given to people of all ages that fit into the high-risk  category. The department will set a date for a shot clinic when the vaccines arrive. But even with the additional doses, there is still a shortage of flu vaccines.

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NewsChannel 11's Ashley Rodriquez talked to one local pediatric clinic that will have to turn away hundreds unless they get more doses.

Shots are never fun, but parents know how important they are for prevention. So for many, the flu vaccination shortage is concerning.

"It kinda scares me not being able to get them for the kids. My daughter is 15 and she has asthma and we need to get her one but I don't know if there will be any available", Sharon Evans, a mother of two.

Pediatric nurse Daina Lozano at West Texas Pediatrics says they don't know either.

"Our order was canceled due to the shortage. We order through a distributor and the distributor called us the first part of last week and told us it was canceled due to the shortage", stated Daina Lozano.

Last year at this one clinic they gave out about 300 flu shots and about 40 doses of flu mist. This year they've grown and so has the need. So they say if they had the shots to give, they'd need 500 vaccinations.

At this point Nurse Lozano says they don't know if the clinic will get any vaccinations in or not. But they do know who is high risk and needs them the most to recommend to the health department.

Is there anything you can do to prevent the flu? "Not really. The main thing is to cover your mouth when you are coughing or sneezing and good hand washing is going to be the number one key to prevent", added Nurse Lozano.

And while they can prescribe medicine to ease the symptoms once you've contracted the flu, it is a virus, so there is no cure.

West Texas Pediatrics has ordered more flu testers than normal. If you believe you have flu symptoms including sudden high fever, headaches and muscle aches, the Clinic can apply a nose swab and find out within minutes if you have the virus.

In addition to washing your hands, there are a couple of other things you can do to lessen your chance of getting the flu. First, avoid crowds when possible, carry a hand sanitizer, and if you need real protection from a high risk situation, wear a mask.

On average, 114,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S from the flu every year and 36,000 die.

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