Flu Shot Frustration - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Flu Shot Frustration

"Yesterday I woke up about three o'clock just panicking. I've stood in so many lines I really needed to find this flu shot because my son has Leukemia."

After leaving five flu clinics with no vaccination, Margie Cantrell, started the day determined to get a flu shot for her son, James, in remission from Leukemia.

"So I jumped up and all the kids were up by four o'clock. We were on the road and about 4:30 or a quarter to five, we got to Lindale. About six o'clock everybody started showing up. So I started a list and as they showed up, my daughter and I would just go over to their car and have them sign the list as to when they showed up, and I signed up 119 people," says Cantrell.

And like most flu clinics across the country, all of them left without a shot.

"About 9:30 somebody from ETMC showed up and said it's cancelled go home. I'm never going to forget the look on those people's face, cause it's like they're a bunch of rats in a maze and they've gone to this place and gone to this place, and they can never find the cheese," says Cantrell.

Beyond just wanting them for safe measure, Margie says the ones she stood in line with needed the shots.

"One had one lung, a baby had leukemia, the stories just go on and on. Everybody that I had put on the list, I had to tell them, he's really serious, they have it but they won't give it to you. People left in tears," says Cantrell.

And like Margie, they will probably go through the same process- again.

"If I don't have the flu shot this year, my health will probably go back like it was which is taking pneumonia every two or three days after I get a cold. They know what their situation is and they have to find it, and people were saying, I would fly to another state, I would do whatever it took to get it," says Cantrell.

Even though all of the local flu clinics have been cancelled, Margie says she will not stop until her son has a shot.

"I have to find it for James. He came through Chemotherapy , he came through everything and his immune system is low, and I will find him a flu shot, or die trying."

East Texas Medical Center says its clinics, usually held as a community service, had to be cancelled because they only received six thousand of their usual seventeen thousand shots.

A statement from the hospital says quote, "The shortage and increased demand this year have made it impossible for us to hold public flu clinics. Once we realized we had no vaccines available, we immediately cancelled all our public flu shot clinics."

The remaining shots will be split up among in-patients, out-patients, and hospital employees. ETMC'S other scheduled flu shot clinics at Chandler and Winona have also been cancelled.

Reporting: Braid Sharp bsharp@kltv.com

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