Counties waiting for new H1N1 shots

November 2, 2009 4:53:22 PM PST
On Monday afternoon, the Houston Health and Human Services Department confirmed two new swine flu deaths. One was a baby boy, between 6 months and 11 months old who died last month. The second victim was a man who died in September. [SWINE FLU: Symptoms, questions and answers and more]

The new deaths from the H1N1 virus means that Houstonians will not stop searching for vaccines any time soon. Eyewitness News checked across the Houston area to find out who has it and who doesn't.

No new shipments of the H1N1 vaccine were received Monday, health officials said. There are about 11,500 doses remaining in the city -- both nasal and injectable vaccine, they added.

Currently, the city is out of injectable vaccines for children under 4 years old with underlying health conditions. A new shipment of vaccine is expected later this week.

Meanwhile, at the Harris County Health Department, no new shipments of the vaccine arrived Monday. The county has already doled out a big chunk of its supply of H1N1 vaccine with, about 3,500 doses of nasal spray remaining vaccine.

Harris county officials said they're expecting another shipment soon, but don't know if it will be injectable or nasal spray.

Fort Bend County's Health and Human Services Department is preparing to distribute 17,000 doses Tuesday. That supply will only go to high-risk people at the clinic on Reading Road in Rosenberg. Those dosages will be available through Friday.

In Galveston County, the Health District said it's out of its vaccine. All 5,000 doses were given out by Saturday. Officials there are not sure when a new shipmen will arrive.

And the University of Texas Medical Branch is about to start limiting visitors to curb the spread of the dangerous virus. Beginning next week, visitors 12 and younger will no longer be allowed into John Sealy Hospital and the emergency room.

"What we're noticing is that children are the primary source of the infection, and its being spread within children quite a bit right now," said Dr. Steve Quach, UTMB interim medical director. "That's why we prefer to not have children come into the hospital and spread that infection to our hospitalized patients."

The Texas Department of State Health Services said it's ordering our allocation of H1N1 vaccine as quickly as possible. By the end of last week, they said 1.5 million doses were ordered. But state officials acknowledge the supply isn't enough for the demand.

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