Flu Vaccine Shortage

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November 2, 2005
The flu season has just barely begun, so why are both Columbia and Richmond Counties out of the vaccine already? Health Team 12 is on your side with when you can expect the next delivery.

Lucky for Champ Newsome he was in the right seat at the right time.

“I mean, why did I pick today? I don’t know. It was just good timing,” Newsome said.

Champ received some of the last drops of flu vaccine Wednesday just minutes before the Richmond County Health Department ran dry.

“You know we just happened to pick today and hit it lucky, we got the last one,” Newsome said.

But unlucky perhaps for both Richmond and Columbia Counties since their next shipment won’t arrive for another eight days. Given a countywide interest in the shot however, health officials say they’re not surprised this happened.

“Augusta-Richmond County has a community of 200,000 people and we ordered 2,400 doses so we never planned to vaccinate the whole community,” said Jane Oglesby, Facility Administrator at Richmond Co. Health Department.

It’s why she’s directing patients to other places, at least for the time being. But News 12 has also learned several area pharmacies are out, or have already offered their clinics. Oglesby says hospitals with walk-in services would be a safe bet.

“They may not be able to get a flu vaccine from the Health Department, but I do think it will be available for the community,” Oglesby said.

After November 10th, Columbia and Richmond Counties will have 900 doses left to use of their season-long order. So until that supply runs low, nurses in both locations will continue rolling up their sleeves as well as yours.

“Convenience is one thing and it’s a nice place to come. I feel protected now,” Newsome said.

There have been no reports of the flu in Richmond County.