Flu Vaccine Shortage

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

October 20, 2006

Drug manufacturers plan on making nearly 100 million flu vaccines this year. And while that is a record number, one local pediatrician says they are having trouble getting the vaccine putting young patients at risk.

Mid October means flu vaccination season is in full swing. Clinics like the one run by Clinical Mobility in the Fashion Square Mall say they are full stocked. But that is not the case for some pediatricians in the area.

"This year we prebooked 2,000 doses for the pediatric patients we serve and we were told that was fine and we would be getting our shipment in early October. We did get a shipment in early October but there were 200 doses," said Doctor Robert Trundle.

Dr. Trundle from Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville says this causes a two fold problem. First, clinics run by companies like Clinical Mobility and Wal-Mart do not offer vaccines to pediatric patients. Second, many infants require two shots one month apart. If vaccines don't arrive until November, that could cause a delay.

"If you have a very early epidemic, then some of these babies won't be covered. I personally would like to see a way to try and guarantee it for the babies," Trundle said.

Unfortunately, Trundle says there is not much that they can do but wait and hope. And while he is frustrated that the vaccines go elsewhere, he says it is important for everyone to get the shot.

"If everyone in America gets the flu shot then the children of America will be more healthy because there will be less flu around," he said.

Most of the doctors having the shortage in the area have been guaranteed a shipment by the end of October.

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