October 14, 2004
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is asking its regional offices and local public health departments throughout the state to serve as information clearinghouses to match providers who have leftover flu vaccine with providers who need the vaccine.
Physicians, companies, pharmacies and others who have ordered the vaccine are being asked to report vaccine supply information and needs to their local health department or nearest DSHS regional office on a weekly basis till further notice.
“The goal is to match the haves with the have-nots, to do everything we can to make sure that as many of the high-risk people as possible get the vaccine,” said Texas Commissioner of State Health Services Eduardo Sanchez.
Sanchez reiterated other steps for dealing with the national flu vaccine shortage.
- The vaccine should be given to high-risk groups only.
- People who are not in the high-risk groups are asked to defer or forego vaccination this season.
- Individuals who have symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home from work, school and other places where they could infect others.
- Frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes reduce the spread of viruses and other germs.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that some 14.2 million doses of the flu vaccine made by Aventis Pasteur will be distributed over the next six to eight weeks directly to high-priority vaccine providers such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes and private medical providers caring for young children.
Another 8.2 million doses are being held for later distribution after further assessment of vaccine needs throughout the country.
DSHS and local public health departments will be gathering information about shortage areas and unvaccinated high-risk groups in Texas. That information will be sent to CDC for use in determining distribution of the held doses.
More information, including listings of DSHS regional offices and local public health departments, click on our home page.
(News Media: for more information contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524.)