Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) — San Diego health officials said that the county expected to run out of swine flu vaccine yesterday after receiving only 25 percent of the 411,000 doses anticipated for October, as reports of shortages nationwide mount.
New shipments may arrive “in the next week or two, we hope,” said Jose Alvarez, a spokesman for the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
More than 3,000 parents and children stood in line on a chilly Saturday to receive swine and seasonal flu vaccines at a community-wide clinic in Cobb County.
Many said they were anxious to obtain vaccines, especially for their kids, amid concerns about reports of children’s deaths and vaccine shortages.
Brad and Erika Bunn woke their kids early, with Erika running around the house announcing the kids had to get up and get out. It was, she said, “a frantic morning.”
“We thought it was important to get the kids vaccinated, since we’ve heard of cases of children who have died,” said Brad Bunn, 37, of Smyrna, who arrived with his three children.
By the end of day, 1,860 people had received the swine flu vaccine and 579 people had received seasonal flu shots, said Darlene Foote, a spokeswoman for the Cobb health department.
The Daily Breeze, Los Angeles:
People not deemed at risk for swine flu are being asked to stay away from county-run vaccination clinics until more supplies become available, health officials said Tuesday.
The announcement was the first formal indication that the county is rationing its limited supply of vaccine, which has been in high demand since county clinics opened last week.
“As time has gone on, there has been a more acute shortage,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “The expected distribution of vaccine to us and other parts of the country has been significantly less. Therefore, we have to be more strict in deciding who will get the vaccine.”
As doctors cope with shortages of swine flu vaccine and large numbers of people suffering influenza-like illness, the state and federal governments have shifted away from mass vaccination clinics toward targeting limited doses at those with greatest risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists those at greatest risk of serious illness from swine flu as: pregnant women; healthcare and emergency medical staff who have direct contact with patients; people who live with or provide care for children under 6 months old; children ages 6 months to 4 years; and children 5 to 18 with chronic medical conditions such as asthma and diseases of the heart and liver.
The recommended shift from mass clinics to targeted vaccinations forced the Milwaukee Health Department to re-evaluate plans for the 1,500 doses of vaccine left over from last week’s large clinics.
“It’s all needing to be reworked,” said Raquel Filmanowicz of the Milwaukee Health Department.
She said the city has received no new shipments of vaccine.
The shape of things to come when socialized medicine settles in.