Seasonal flu shot supplies dwindling, but swine flu shots said on the way

Published 12:36 pm Thursday, October 22, 2009

On Wednesday Winn-Dixie and Walgreens, major suppliers of regular seasonal flu shots here, said they are out of the regular shots and don’t expect to get any additional supplies.

However, at least two other locations still are offering the shots.

A spokesperson for Urgent Care at 422 Memorial Blvd., said that office still has regular flu shots, said technician Tabatha Bilbo. Urgent Care is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

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The Pearl River County Health Department also still has supplies of the vaccines.

Pharmacist Tim Cuevas of Winn-Dixie, who has been administering the regular flu shots for that store’s two locations here, said Winn-Dixie officials have been trying to get additional supplies of the seasonal shots but have been unsuccessful.

“We are out. We have tried to get it, but they (the suppliers) have told us they are out. We have plenty of customers still asking for the shots, but I doubt we will get any more,” he said.

He added that Winn-Dixie also plans to administer the swine flu shots when they are made available. Cuevas said he is expecting to receive a shipment “but I don’t know when.”

The regular flu shots are still available at the County Health Department in Carriere. The department is located on U.S. Highway 11, about one mile north of the Pearl River Central High School campus on the west side of the highway.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Liz Sharlot, a spokesperson for the State Health Department in Jackson, told The Associated Press that the state had received 60,000 dosages of the injectable swine flu vaccine.

She added that the state has another 69,000 dosages of the nasal spray. She said about 900 providers had signed up to administer the swine flu doses.

She said that priority groups, such as pregnant women, young children and those with respiratory illnesses, are set to receive the H1N1 vaccine first, and then it will be available to the general public.

The State Health Department has reported 1,143 cases of H1N1 flu statewide, but officials said the number of cases is believed to be much higher than that official figure. Also, eight deaths have been reported with three in Jones County.