No End In Sight for Swine Flu Vaccine Shortages (page 2)

No End In Sight for Swine Flu Vaccine Shortages

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based on 3 ratings
November 16, 2009
Updated on Nov 13, 2009

At the CDC's weekly briefing, a spokeswoman said officials hope the situation will get better as more and more shots are produced and delivered each week. But Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Thursday there's no predicting how long shortages will remain. This week, for example, weather problems throughout the country contributed to shipping delays, leading to only about 5 million doses going out instead of 8 million.

"We are going to continue to have challenges with this pandemic and I think it's important to realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint. It's the virus that's the enemy here, but together I am sure we can get through this."

For parents who are stymied in their efforts to get their kids vaccinated, the options are limited, officials said:

  • Check with local health officials. Every state makes the decisions on how to get its supply of the vaccine to the population. Some states are distributing the vaccine to public health clinics and schools and other locations to reach large numbers of people, some are getting the doses to individual doctors and others are doing a little of both. Call your child's school and the local or state public health office to find out if the shots are available anywhere near you.
  • Be persistent. The flu shots are being delivered across the country every week and each state is getting its proportionate share of the total number of doses available. So availability can change drastically on a week-to-week basis.
  • Follow Swine Flu precautions. During a time of shortage it is even more critical to regularly wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough and be on the alert for any flu symptoms. If you think you have the flu, stay home from school or work and see a doctor.
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