Contamination cost the U.S. half of the flu vaccine, but on Tuesday, the government announced an additional 2.6 million doses will be available in January, with another 1.5 million possible. Meanwhile, here in Lubbock the health department handed out 750 doses of the vaccine on Tuesday, unfortunately not everyone was able to get the shot.
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The health department began administering the vaccine at 1:00 on Tuesday afternoon but they ran out only an hour and a half later, turning away dozens. And those who actually got the vaccine waited in line for as long as five hours.
"Our doctor said he'd call us as soon as he got them in but I don't want to sit around and wait," so instead, Robbie Pickett decided to stand around and wait for her flu shot, and she wasn't alone, hundreds also stood in line waiting for their turn.
"I think because of the urgency they all felt like they should get here way before it started," explains Beckie Brawley from the City of Lubbock Health Department. She says with a limited amount of doses, it's inevitable some will be turned away. "As a public health official, it's hard to tell people we don't have something that they need," she admits.
And with temperatures reaching up to 80 degrees, it made for a long wait."It feels like it's about 84[degrees], I'm not kidding," exclaims Kathy Walker as she waits in line with her husband and their infant.
Once inside, the lines moved quickly and even the young showed a little bravery. "Wow, were you good," says a nurse as 4-year-old Ethan and his grandma Pat stood in line for two hours, but say it was worth the wait. "He has asthma and so we wanted to be sure he had the flu shot," explains Pat. In fact, she decided she wouldn't get one so Ethan could receive a shot. "I'll get mine later when there's a little bit more flu vaccine," she says as she smiles at her grandson.
According to the health department they won't have any adult doses for the rest of the year. They do however, have a limited amount of children's doses but those are only for children who are uninsured and those with chronic illnesses.