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12-08-03: Vaccine shortage possible

Mercer, Auglaize officials say more getting flu shots


A local shortage of the flu vaccine is possible, but Mercer and Auglaize county health departments don’t seem overly concerned.
Officials from the Ohio Department of Health this morning said they already have distributed the majority of the department’s public supply. On Friday, the makers of the flu shots in the United States reported they have run out of the vaccine and will not be able to meet the surge in demand this year.
“Last week we gave 287 vaccines and, as of this morning, we have 380 doses left. We will reorder, but I can’t say right now how much will be available from the (Ohio Department of Health),” Deb Scheer, spokesperson for the Auglaize County agency, told The Daily Standard this morning.
The Auglaize County Health Department reported 30 cases of the flu as of last Friday morning. Scheer said that number could have increased significantly during the past weekend.
Mercer County Health Department’s Sara Beiler did not have the current number of confirmed cases available.
Beiler and Scheer agreed they are seeing more children and whole families coming in for the shots.
“We have reordered more than 200 doses, which we expect by Thursday,” Beiler said this morning via telephone. “I don’t want to say exactly how many we ordered, but we hope there’s no shortage.”
The recent deaths of six children in Colorado have parents nationwide getting shots for their children. Plus, this is the first year the Ohio Department of Health has promoted vaccination of children.
The Mercer County Health Department holds walk-in clinics on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and by appointment on other weekdays. Flu shots are $10 each and can be given to anyone 6 months old and older.
Auglaize County Health Department gives shots on a walk-in basis every weekday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $16 per shot and shots are also available for people 6 months old and older.


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