Swine flu vaccine hits Houston

HOUSTON Texas Children's Pediatric Associates was one of the first clinics in the Houston area to get and give the swine flu vaccine. Doctors here started Tuesday. Eleven people in our viewing area have died from the H1N1 virus, but unfortunately right now the demand for the vaccine is greater than the supply.

Ella Grace Carayanis, 3, isn't congested and isn't sick. The nasal spray is a vaccine, and there was no shot required.

She's one of the first patients to get the H1N1 vaccine at this southwest Houston clinic. Texas Children's Pediatric Associates just started administering it and Ella Grace's mother didn't want to take any chances.

"She just started school this year and they've had a couple of outbreaks and we thought it was best just as a precaution to go ahead and have her vaccinated," said Heather Carayanis, Ella Grace's mother.

The State of Texas expects to receive 15 million doses of the vaccine by the end of January, but so far has gotten only half a million. The clinic's supply is limited so health care workers and healthy two and three-year-olds are priorities.

"Children who don't have underlying immune problems, asthma, allergies to egg, they would be our priority initially," said Dr. Kristin Koush.

So Ella Grace was eligible and with the mist, there was no screaming and no crying. But she still gets a sucker.

The vaccine is available only in the mist form right now. An injectable one will come later.

Health officials encourage you to keep checking with your doctors about their supply of the vaccine. It is still not available to everyone. As for Texas Children's Pediatric Associates, they are not giving the vaccine at the hospital, only at its more than 40 clinics around town.

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