Like many communities in the United States, there is almost no influenza vaccine in Quay County this year and that is causing problems for many people in the area.
“Almost nobody has any (vaccine),” said Bobbie White of the Quay County Public Health Office. Some of the doctors have some, but I can’t say which ones. We’ve been getting calls on it (requests by residents for vaccine innoculations) continuously all day long and all we can say is that we are trying to get some. Some of the doctors had some but I don’t know if they still do.”
White explained that the supply that had been contracted for the public health office had been with the firm overseas that had been refused permission to produce vaccine by the British Government.
“So we don’t have any,” said White.
According to registered nurse Gene Black of the public health office, their office is attempting to find more vaccine to distribute to the public but so is most of the country. She said, however, if they are able to find some and get it to Quay County, they intend to advertise the fact.
“We’ll put it in the newspaper and on the radio,” said Black.
Black said at least in the beginning, the medicine will be earmarked for those considered to be most “at risk” and endangered by the Flu which include the elderly, the very young and those people with health problems which could be aggravated by the flu.
Dr. John Faith of Tucumcari said his office was fortunate enough to find some vaccine, but they did not have a great deal of it.
“We’ve had lots of calls,” said Faith. “We were lucky enough to get seven viles which makes about 70 shots.”
Faith said at this time because of the small amount of vaccine, he and his staff have been giving out the medicine very carefully, keeping almost completely to individuals who would be considered at risk.
Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital also has no vaccine but according to the hospital director of nursing Fran Peterson the administrator for the hospital is looking for some of the vaccine with which to inoculate the staff of the hospital so when the flu season hits they will be able to handle the influx of patients.
Peterson said for the most part people do not go to the hospital when hit with the flu, but since some of the at risk population will not be able to get the vaccine to combat the disease, she anticipates that the hospital could be quite busy during the flu season.
At this time Peterson said she is unaware whether the hospital has any special plans to deal with the potential increased cases of flu suffers but anticipates that the hospital’s administrator does have a plan.
The listing as “at risk” by the New Mexico Department of Health includes:
•Individuals 65 and older
•Children six months to 23 months (children younger than six month should not be vaccinated).
•Adults and children with heart disease, asthma, or other chronic disorders of the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems.
•Adults and children who require regular medical follow-up or hospitalization during the preceding year due to diabetes, kidney disease, blood disorders metabolic disorders, immuno-surpressive diseases or other chronic diseases.
•Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.
•Household contacts and out-of-home care givers of children under the age of six months.
•Healthcare workers who provide direct care to patients.