H1N1 vaccine shortage causing districts to change plans

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Changes are happening by the minute in the amount of Swine Flu/H1N1 vaccines local health districts are receiving. The only constant is, they do not have as much as they ordered.

For Doctor William Nelson in Chesterfield County, it's like being thrown a curve ball in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Their school clinics are postponed through next week, unless a shipment of the vaccine comes in.

At this hour, they are scrambling to come up with a new game plan.

"We're planning on giving them out in central locations, to make available to at risk children and pregnant women. We we have available vaccine, then we'll go back into the school system and catch up with the other kids," says Dr. Nelson.

It's a plan they've discussed with the school superintendent, after only receiving a fraction of the more than 32,000 doses they ordered.

We learned late Wednesday morning, that about 1,000 of the nasal vaccines arrived at the health district. They are giving out the vaccine at their central office for children and pregnant women. Call this number: (804) 768-7499 to find out the latest status on the number of vaccines available.

Dr. Nelson doesn't blame the lack of vaccines today based on who was vaccinated during their clinic on Monday.

"We ran out because we had low number of vaccines. If we had enough vaccine we would have done everybody in line," says Dr. Nelson.

That curve ball, hurting everyone involved.

"We're all geared up and ready to go, and when we get it, we'll go," says Dr. Nelson.

In Richmond, they're geared up and ready to go too, but it's a day by day decision.

By mid morning on Wednesday, the Richmond City Health District was able to secure enough vaccines to continue their clinics through Thursday.

An important move for nurses throughout the school system. "We're trying to make sure they each get the vaccine and if there is a shortage, then we'll get them vaccinated as soon as they come in," says nurse at Oak Grove Theresa Pierce.

But, for health care providers, they can't come in fast enough.

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