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KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Flu Shots: Shortage or Surplus?

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

After a nationwide scare, there are now conflicting stories about a shortage of the flu vaccine.

In some parts of the U.S., health officials say there isn't enough, while in others, they can't give flu shots away.

But here in town, a private company was selling the shots, first come first serve.

Most of these people couldn't get the flu vaccine from their doctors.

And after being turned away they turned to a private company offering the shots for $35.

"There is a huge need because something like 48 million people may not receive the vaccination. Of course, that number is smaller because they've imported some flu shots in but there is still a great need. Quite a few people will go without this year," says Pharmacist Mike Adams.

Adams owns Texas-based Immunovax which pre-stocked about 10,000 shots at the beginning of the year.

"We basically try to hit the areas that have the most need," says Adams.

Including Bryan/College Station. Area hospitals have only been able to vaccinate at-risk patients, leaving others looking for another option.

"I've been looking to get her one for a couple months and there was never anything available so, I'm willing to pay," says local resident Robyn Matega.

But the case in this area is not the same throughout the U.S. Other parts of the nation now have a surplus and can't give the shots away.

"Nationally, we're catching up. Here locally within the health department we've been able to immunize everyone that is at-risk on our waiting list and still have immunizations available but only for at-risk categories," says Dr. Charles Williams of the Brazos County Health Department.

And because Texas still has a flu shot shortage people are willing to wait to get it from other sources if they can't get it from their doctor.

"My doctor didn't have it and so I kind of gave up on it then," says local resident Bobby Elkins.

Health officials say it has been a mild flu season so far in Brazos County.

And it is always smart to protect yourself against disease, but until the government lifts restrictions for what groups can get the shot, clinics like this one will be packed.

The Brazos County Health Department is still offering shots for at-risk groups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


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