Houston’s Department of Health and Human Services says it has only a few hundred doses of the injectable H1N1 vaccine and about six thousand doses of the nasal mist.
“The nasal spray is very effective and actually much more pleasant to take, but its available for healthy 2-49 year olds, and it will provide very good protection from H1N1 influenza.”
Kathy Barton with the Health Department says the vaccine maker initially shipped about 18-thousand doses. They are currently available at nine vaccination sites on a first come, first serve basis.
“We may have reached some level of saturation among our client population and, if we have more vaccine next week, look to change our sites around a little bit, so we can provide a new group of people with the shots and the nasal spray.”
PH : “After the shots are gone, what do you tell folks?”
Barton : “We tell them to continue checking with their personal physician because the majority of the vaccine is going out to private doctors and hospitals. The public health institutions in Texas are really last on the list to be able to receive any of this vaccine.”
She doubts colder weather will mean more cases.
“This H1N1 has not behaved in any form or fashion like seasonal flu, but the longer we go, the more people we will have who are immune to it, either because they’ve had disease, or because they’ve had the immunization.”
Private doctors have both kinds of the vaccine. Barton adds until you get vaccinated, she recommends you continue to wash hands, cover your cough, avoid sick people, and stay at home if you’re sick.
PH, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.