Swine flu vaccines in short supply — again

The City has used up most of the 28,000 injectable doses of H1N1 vaccine it received from the federal government last week and there is no clear indication as to when more will arrive, the Department of Public Health said.

State officials told the DPH that more swine flu doses will be shipped out “in the next week to 10 days,” DPH spokeswoman Eileen Shields said. But those doses will be in the form of the nasal spray – aka FluMist – and not the injectable kind, she said.

The nasal spray vaccine is not safe for some of the most susceptible groups: pregnant women and people with chronic health problems.

Last week’s shipment of swine flu vaccines was the largest to date. To distribute the doses to as many high-risk residents as possible, the health department opened nine vaccination clinics citywide during limited hours from Thursday through Saturday.

Around 18,000 of those high-risk individuals received doses in the clinics, Shields said.

“We are doing an inventory today of all of the clinics that participated inlast week’s mass vaccine distribution,” Shields said. “Whatever is left will be redistributed back to the clinics for high-risk patients.”

The soon-to-be-shipped nasal spray doses will not go to the DPH, “but rather will be sent directly to private doctors’ offices and hospitals in San Francisco,” Shields said. 

It is not known how many nasal spray doses would arrive in the next shipment, and there was also no indication as to when more injectable vaccines would arrive.

 

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