Swine Flu Vaccine Shortage?
POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009 - 5:29pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:24pm
EL PASO--- City Health leaders say they will not be enforcing citizenship at their clinics when the swine flu vaccine arrives, meaning there are some El Pasoans who may have to find their flu shot elsewhere.
As the H1N1 flu returns to the U.S., many here in El Paso are ready and waiting to get their free swine flu shot when the doses arrive about three weeks from now.
But could there be a shortage here?
"That certainly could happen," said Mike Hall, the City Public Health director.
According to Hall, pregnant women, children, and those with health conditions will be a priority.. but that doesn't mean americans will be the only ones in line.
Residents from Juarez could take advantage of the county's free doses.
"(The Juarez residents) are certainly not factored into the federal government's calculation, numbers of vaccinations (for El Paso), but am I going to have a border patrol agent stand in my clinics and sort people out? Probably not," said Hall.
Juarez resident Laura Lopez says if it's free, she'd take advantage too.
She says because she crosses so often, Americans should be open to the idea.
"It's convenient for people in Juarez to get it here because it would stop the spreading from Juarez to El Paso," said Lopez.
But the idea doesn't settle well with some El Pasoans.
"The U.S. needs to cover the U.S. and its citizens and people here first, and if there are resources left over, then they can help other countries," said El Pasoan Luis Pasillas.
But Hall says his office still needs to coordinate with Mexican health leaders, saying if they all get the vaccine at the same time, it could relieve some of the rush on this side of the border.
For those interested in getting the swine flu vaccine when it arrives...
The City announced locations you can go to.
Henderson Health Center
741 South Mesa
Northeast Health Center
Tigua Health Center
7862 San Jose Road
Westside Health Center
Ysleta Health Center
To make an appointment, please call (915) 771-5702.