October 21, 2009
Texas continues to order its full allocation of H1N1 vaccine, but the national supply still isn't adequate to meet the public demand.
“We know that the best way for people to protect themselves from the flu is to get the vaccine, but the national supply is still very low,” said Dr. David Lakey, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner.
Texas had expected to receive 3.4 million doses of the vaccine by mid-October, according to the initial projections from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the state has received less than 1 million doses so far.
The CDC allocates the vaccine to states based on population and tells states each week how much vaccine is available for them to order. As of today, the state has ordered about one million doses allocated to the state and provided the CDC with information on where to ship those doses. The vaccine is still in the process of being shipped out.
“Given the limited national supply at this point, we want to make sure we use our first shipments to protect those at highest risk of complications from the flu – pregnant women and children,” Dr. Lakey said.
About 12,000 doctors and other health care providers have signed up to provide the vaccine in Texas. The state directed the first shipments to 5,000 providers who serve primarily pregnant women, children and health care workers who provide patient care.
Dr. Lakey said the state hopes to receive 15 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine by mid-January, assuming that production meets initial projections.
“Vaccine will be available to the general public as soon as production catches up with the demand,” he said. “The process is driven by the manufacturers' capacity.”
(News Media Contact: Carrie Williams, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)
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