Health Departments Offer Swine Flu Vaccines Despite Recall

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

It is now being offered to more people.  The trouble is, no one is taking them up on their offer. Health officials say misinformation may be to blame for a lack of people asking for it.

"People think because it's flu season and vaccination season, they always put the two together.  They think they got the flu because of the vaccine,"  Christine Newman, with the Howard County Health Dept., said.

Some clinics have plenty and some have just enough to get by.   Now, everyone can receive the H1N1 vaccine.

According to Gino Solla, with the Ector County Health Dept, "This week, we received news from the Centers for Disease Control that it's open to the general public.  There is enough vaccine, nationwide, that we are going to have our first clinic (Thursday).

Newman says she's not sure why the public response to the vaccine's availability has been so low, "I really wish I knew.  We would love to see a line out the door, because it's a public service and it's all free.  We want people to come in.  We want them safe and healthy for the holiday season."

She added it would be shame for all this vaccine to go waste, when there are other parts of the country that could put it to good use, "There's such a large part of the country that can't get it and people are begging for it and we have such a large supply.  We would really like to maximize it's use and cover the people in this area to come get it."

Both counties have plenty of H1N1 and regular flu vaccines to go around.  Solla says cases of H1N1 have decreased and regular flu season hasn't officially started yet.  But it's like the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense, "People should protect themselves.  The best protection is the vaccine and they should get the vaccine in case we do get another wave of this H1N1 or the seasonal flu or both."

If you have any questions about the H1N1 vaccine itself, you can call 2-1-1.  They have doctors and nurses on hand, specifically for that purpose.