The Dallas County Health Department has a new supply of low-cost meningitis vaccine - required of all new and returning college students under age 30 as of January 1, 2012. But Health Department Director Zach Thompson expects this latest supply won't last long. The first shipment didn't.
Thompson: We got 540 doses the first time. We got it on a Thursday afternoon and we were out on Friday. We've averaging about 200 people a day. And we see that number picking up as we get close to January 1.
These shots are 10 dollars each because of an arrangement with the state to make the vaccine available at low-cost to those 19 and older.
The meningitis vaccine usually costs 120 dollars or more. Thompson says the Health Department got two thousand doses this time. Tarrant County is also offering low-cost meningitis shots at its six health clinics. Cost is 25 dollars while supplies last.
Conservative Leader Endorsemes Santorum, Not Perry
Texas Governor Rick Perry had reportedly sought the endorsement, but Bob Vander Plaats, president of The Family Leader, has personally endorsed former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to be the Republican presidential nominee.
The board of the Family Leader group, a prominent Christian conservative organization in Iowa, is not endorsing a Republican candidate for president, underscoring the divisions among influential evangelicals in the state whose leadoff caucuses are just two weeks away.
In 2008, Iowa social conservatives rallied around Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. Several candidates this year are vying for evangelical voters, including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The division has allowed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul to emerge as contenders Iowa, despite not heavily courting its evangelicals this year.
European Union To Restrict Importation Of Lethal Drug
The European Union is restricting the sale of a key lethal injection drug to countries that allow the death penalty. The move could worsen a supply shortage that has already delayed some U.S. executions. The European Commission says it will strengthen export controls on the sale of sodium thiopental and other drugs that could be used in lethal injections.
Sodium thiopental was used by most U.S. states as part of a lethal injection combination, but many have switched to an alternative drug called pentobarbital amid an ongoing shortage.
The move follows pressure from death penalty opponents and also after Britain said in April it would block the export of three lethal injection drugs to the U.S. Texas leads the nation in death penalty executions.
National Guard Border Numbers To Drop
The contingent of National Guard troops working at the Mexican border will be cut from 1,200 to about 300 in the coming year. Members of Congress were briefed told on the reduced troop deployment.
Homeland Security and Defense Department officials say the remaining troops will focus on aerial surveillance missions using helicopters and airplanes. National Guard troops are currently working at the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
The force will be reduced by the end of March and the remaining troops will stay until the end of 2012.
A Kardashian Christmas Toy Drive In Dallas
Dallas' high profile, "newest" resident, Khloe Kardashian hosts a Christmas Toy Drive for Children's Medical Center Wednesday. Kardashian's husband Lamar Odom is a new Dallas Maverick and the couple is moving to the city. Laurie Holloway, with Children's says Khloe has been very active with children's hospitals in California, and wanted to do the same here.
Holloway says the toy drive is from noon to 2 tomorrow at Dallas City Hall Plaza. Holloway: Drop off a toy and you'll get to meet Khloe, take a picture, and chat with her briefly in exchange for a toy for Children's Medical Center.
Holloway says NEW toys, please. And she says they really need toys appropriate for "teens". She says Children's Medical Center in Dallas is the fifth largest children's hospital in the U.S. and there are a lot of kids in need of some special holiday cheer.
Fort Worth Mayor: Go Purple!
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has declared Wednesday "Go Purple Day". Mayor Price is asking the city to rally support for the TCU Horned Frogs in the Poinsettia Bowl.
The Frogs meet Louisiana Tech in the bowl game tomorrow in San Diego. Mayor Price says all Fort Worth residents are encouraged to wear TCU jerseys and other "purple" gear to celebrate a third straight Bowl appearance for TCU.
The game will be televised Wednesday night on ESPN.