Flu Shots Are Slim

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One local medical center is being affected by a British flu vaccine supplier shutting down. Half of the vaccines in the U-S will not be available.

Judi Henneke is the owner of the Pharmacy Shop in Bryan and she already has her full supply of flu vaccines.

"We were sufficient to supply our nursing homes, assisted living homes and even some of the doctors office." says Henneke.

But that's not the case elsewhere. College Station Medical Center is experiencing a shortage. That's because the U-S supply of flu vaccine has been cut in half.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC says, "Take a deep breath. This is not an emergency. We're going to work through this and look for more supply."

"It seems like the past couple years, there's been a delay in receiving our flu vaccines but nothing to this extreme." says Rebecca Wilson, Director of Pharmacy at The Med.

The Med ordered its entire stock from a British supplier, Chiron. The company produces nearly half the vaccines used in the U-S. But recently, Chiron had its license suspended....leaving the Med with a shortage. Fortunately, they already ordered 200 extra vials from another firm...and that supply arrived Monday.

Wilson says, "Right now we're in a shuffle mode. We still have to convene our medical staff, our administration and a step approach as to whom we're gonna vaccinate. Of course, our patients are first. But then we need to determine which healthcare workers we're gonna vaccinate second."

The Brazos County Health Department has a limited number of doses on hand and is waiting for more.

If and when the Health Department receives its supply, the vaccine will only be available to high risk patients.
That includes people over the age of 65, as well as children under the age 2, and people with serious respiratory problems.

St. Joseph Hospital is fully stocked with the vaccine.

But if you're planning on getting your flu shot from The College Station Medical Center, a little patience could be what the doctor orders.