Fears Of Vaccine Shortage Hit East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/7/04-Tyler

Fears Of Vaccine Shortage Hit East Texas

As word of the flu vaccine shortage spreads, there's a growing concern over the vaccines availability in East Texas.
Clinics and hospitals reportedly have received hundreds of calls from worried citizens. An East Texas church had stepped in to help provide the vaccine to everyone in need, but now that plan has hit a snag.
Since the announcement the Glenwood United Methodist Church would offer free flu vaccines this weekend, the phones have been ringing off the hook.
The church's health fair is an annual event, but this year there's extra interest because of the flu vaccine shortage.
"The calls that I've taken seem to be rather anxious about getting the flu shot," said church Pastor Jim Chatham. "I suppose it looms very large for some that they may not be able to get one within the next month or two."
For Saturday's health fair, the church will have to follow strict guidelines. Flu shots are only for those 65 and older and those with chronic illnesses.
Jonathan Pavlorr stopped by the church Thursday, believing the shots were already available.
"Well I heard that there's gonna be a waiting list, so I decided to go ahead and get it as quick as I could," Jonathan said. "I've had the flu before and I nearly died from it. I'd just soon not get it again.
However, Dr. Douglas Cogdill pediatrician at Trinitiy Mother Francis Clinic in Tyler said those in need will be taken care of.
"Even though there is a shortage of vaccine it's not that it's not available." Dr. Cogdill said. "Just like this clinic most places that offer the flu vaccine are going to continue to offer it's just that we have to be a little more selective at this point.
Doctor Cogdill said he does not anticipate a lack of flu shots for those truly in need. However, he said seniors, children and those with chronic health conditions need to make sure they are immunized against the virus.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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