New doses of flu shot gobbled up by public

Friday, December 3, 2004

Once the word got out that the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center would have limited doses of flu vaccine available at 2 p.m. on Thursday, people began flocking to the center on Linden Street.

However, by 1:30 p.m., all of the shots had been distributed. According to director Charlotte Craig, people began arriving at the health center at 12:10 p.m., so the center began giving the shots immediately to circumvent a potentially dangerous situation in the parking lot.

Shirley Bone Renaud of the health center said that a local doctor had been able to get the vaccine for his patients before the FDA closed the manufacturer's shipment earlier in the year. That doctor sold 100 of those doses to the health center to help fill the demand. As people lined up to register for their vaccinations, nurses at the health center set up an assembly line of filling syringes and handing them down to the end of a table where another nurse administered the vaccinations.

Craig said it is uncertain when the next round of vaccinations will be available.

"We've placed an order not only for us but for several local physicians and nursing homes following the instructions from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services," she said. "We've been told, however, not to expect that the full order will be allocated."

The order is scheduled to arrive this month, she said, but it's also possible that it won't.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced last week that it has received its allocation of 150,000 doses, and asked that local public health agencies statewide gather information from the physicians in their communities to determine how to divide those doses.

"It is impossible to fulfill the total amount that is needed," Craig said, "and this vaccine must continue to be given to those who are the most vulnerable."

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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