By BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas, TX –
Dallas County is reporting its 11th death from the H1N1 or swine flu. KERA's BJ Austin says the director of the County Health Department wants more of the H1N1 vaccine --- now.
Zack Thompson, Health Department director, says the federal government is doling out the H1N1 flu vaccine in drips and drabs.
Thompson: We don't know if it's a production issue. We don't know if the federal government underestimated the amount of vaccine that was needed. It's always a tell-tale sign when you only receive a small amount on the front end, and you receive large amounts on the back end.
Thompson says the 1400 doses received so far, half flu mist/half shots, are going to first responders. Everyone else has to wait. And he says the big shipment expected at the end of November may be too late.
Thompson: Right now there is an interest to take the H1N1 vaccine. At the end of November, there may not even be interested in taking the vaccine, and therefore you may end up having to destroy the vaccine.
Thompson says Dallas County needs at least ten thousand doses to do mass inoculation clinics. He says some private physicians have certain amounts of the vaccine available. Health officials say the latest Dallas County H1N1 death is a 25 year old woman who had underlying chronic medical conditions, one of the target groups recommended for the H1N1 vaccine.
Tarrant County is reporting two more H1N1-related deaths. Both women were in the at-risk target groups recommended to receive the H1N1 vaccine.
The women were in their 20's and 30's. County Health officials are not providing any more information.
They were Tarrant County's third and fourth H1N1 deaths. So far, the County has received one thousand doses of the H1N1 vaccine: half Flu Mist/half shots.