Some doctors lack full shipment of flu vaccine - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Some doctors lack full shipment of flu vaccine

October 24, 2006

Albany--It's flu season, but before you head to your doctor's office to get that annual shot, you might want to make sure they have the vaccine first.

Some physicians aren't receiving their full supply.

Cooler temperatures won't stop Lenward Jackson doing what he loves best, fishing.

"Got that one!" he shouts.

But what he won't get, thankfully, is the flu.

"Every year, I take my flu shot," he says.  And he's not alone. Millions of Americans get vaccinated against the flu each year.

"It's really important to the older people, to me in seems a lot of older people catch that cold quicker than younger people do," he says.

But so far this year, some physicians aren't receiving enough of the flu vaccine.

"I expected hundreds of doses all by the first week of October and I didn't get them that way," says  Patricia Hunter.  She works for Albany Primary Health Care. She's responsible for ordering flu vaccines for her eight area clinics.

"None of our offices have gotten there full shipment. Some offices have not got any at all," she says.

That's because, Sanofi Pasteur, a drug company that distributes the flu vaccine to many physician offices nationwide will now only ship partial orders.

"They didn't want the postal service to be overwhelmed with all the millions of doses of vaccines," she says.

Hunter doesn't worry whether she'll have enough flu vaccines to go around, at least for the time being.

"I'm going to be concerned if I haven't gotten a significant supply by the middle of November," she says.

While she assures patients that there's no vaccine shortage, other's like Jackson aren't taking any chances.

"I don't wait until the end to go get it, and there won't be any flu shot medicine around," says Jackson.

And advises others not to wait around either.

"Don't hesitate. Go get it," he says.

The Southwest Georgia Health District announced today it has now received a full supply of the flu vaccine. It lifted earlier restrictions and is now offering shots to the general public and not just those considered high risk.

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