Demand for H1N1 vaccine slowing

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The H1N1 vaccine is finally abundant across the nation, but demand is down.

In reaction the dwindling number of Americans getting vaccinated, President Obama has declared this week National Influenza Vaccination Week.

Over 30,000 H1N1 shots have made their way to East Texas, but less than half have been given to the general public. Many have found themselves just sitting on these shelves for a number of reasons.

"[There is] a decline in cases that we are seeing [and] a decline in people wanting to get the vaccine," said Stephanie Taylor, with the Northeast Texas Public Health District.

But just a few months ago, the virus seemed to be the talk of the town.

"Everybody really thinks about getting their flu shot early in the year, October [or] September," said Lisa Allen, a Tyler resident.

Taylor is afraid H1N1 attention is fizzling.

"It's just not the forefront of what people are thinking about," she said.

"I think it was a panic for nothing," said Yelonda Guthrie, a Tyler resident.

"I just didn't really want to deal with it," said Courtney Webster, a Florida resident traveling through Tyler. "I barely ever get sick so I was like I probably won't get sick this time."

"I guess maybe the new thing is Tiger Woods," said Woody Taves, also a Florida resident.

But Taylor says it is not time to move on to the next thing just yet. She expects to see a spike in flu cases as seasonal flu season starts in February.

"We potentially could see four different flu strains all at once, and, you know, I think that is going to bring it back to really impact people's decisions on whether or not to get their immunizations," said Taylor.

And, due to the abundant supply, vaccination clinics have been set up in East Texas schools, and people of all ages are urged to get immunized.

"We'd love to have senior citizens," said Taylor. "We'd love to have healthy adults."

"It's better to be safe than sorry," said Susie Eatmon, a Tyler resident.

Health officials working to keep you safe for upcoming waves of the flu. The Northeast Texas Public Health District is still administering free H1N1 vaccines. You can make an appointment or just walk in and get one.

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