State changing vaccine distributions

November 16, 2009 7:47:16 AM PST
The state is changing the way it allocates the H1N1 vaccine and it means pediatricians might be getting more soon.Triangle Pediatrics set up an evening clinic Tuesday so parents wouldn't have to miss work to get their kids vaccinated.

They got welcome news that another shipment of the vaccine arrived from the state and more was coming.

Up until now, more than half of the H1N1 vaccine that came into North Carolina went out to clinics like those run by county health departments.

"It has been a frustrating time for many medical professionals and for patients too I think," said Dr. Mary Elizabeth Capps with the Triangle Pediatric Center.

Capps says her practice has 6,000 clients and up until Tuesday, had only received 400 vaccinations.

ABC11 Eyewitness News checked with a handful of other pediatricians who are all reporting the same thing.

One practice says they have 30,000 patients and have only received 100 doses.

"When the vaccine was first made available, we put it to local health departments, because the local health departments see the widest range of high risk patients," said Brandon Rector, who is in charge of distributing the vaccine as it comes in to the state.

But he says, as of this week, the state will be doing things differently.

"Health departments, even Wake County are getting closer to having their needs met, while pediatricians are still looking at 100 to 200 doses, so we're trying to make adjustments," Rector said. "Now we've moved up to 65 percent of our allocations are going to private physicians."

The shortage is making the vaccine difficult to get for anyone not in the highest risk groups.

Officials say keep calling your pediatrician for the vaccine. The state is expecting a windfall in first part of December about 200,000 doses went to doctors around the state.

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