Quay County to receive more flu shots

Thomas Garcia

Quay and Harding County public health officials are working to ensure the county’s residents there is no shortage of flu vaccinations.

“We have only received 50 percent of our seasonal flu vaccination order,” said Rebecca Jeanne Moralez, nurse manager of the Quay County Public Health Office.

Moralez said a new batch of vaccinations is ready to be shipped and should be here within the week.

“Every year we receive the vaccination in stages,” Moralez said. “This is true this year as well. The difference is we are using more vaccination between shipments than compared to last year.”

Moralez said there is no shortage of the vaccination. She said the demand for the vaccination has been three times greater than last year.

“The higher demand is not just in Quay or Harding County,” Moralez said. “The entire state is seeing increased numbers.”

In 2008 the QCPH office vaccinated 784 adults and 356 children, Moralez said. So far this year, they have administered to 887 adults and 312 children.

Moralez said some of the delay in the shots is because the vaccination has a short shelf life and cannot be stockpiled. She said the same manufacturer that makes the seasonal flu vaccine is also making the H1N1 vaccine.

“We have been told that they have stopped production of the H1N1 vaccine and are back to producing more seasonal vaccines,” Moralez said.

Moralez said they have been informed that by January 2010 New Mexico will receive 1.2 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine. She said those too will be delivered in stages.

On Tuesday, Moralez was at Tucumcari Elementary administering vaccinations to students.

“It is essential that the students receive this vaccination,” Tucumcari school nurse Judy Jasper said.

Jasper said when the students receive the shot at school it is easier on the parents, who don’t have to leave work to get their children vaccinated.

“It stung a little,”