Medics get their shots in
November 1, 2003
Military medical officials in Europe apparently haven’t had any trouble convincing people they need to get a flu shot.
“We’re only two weeks into the program and it has been more successful than we anticipated,” Cynthia Vaughan, a spokeswoman for the Europe Regional Medical Command, said Friday.
So successful, in fact, that some people showing up for the influenza vaccine have been told they’ll have to come back later.
Vaughan said there’s a steady supply of the vaccine coming into clinics and hospitals across Europe, but early demand has reduced the amount of vaccine at some locations.
She said they haven’t run out, but facilities are saving the vaccine for deploying military personnel and those judged at highest risk.
“As [facilities] receive more vaccine, they will prioritize other beneficiaries,” Vaughan said. “That’s what we’ll see across Europe.”
Several weeks ago, at the start of the vaccination effort, military officials said there would be enough vaccine this year for all military personnel, their families, civilians and retirees.
That’s still the case, Vaughan said, but some people may have to wait a few weeks to get their shots. January traditionally is the peak month for influenza.
“Nobody should be alarmed in any way,” she said. “There is no shortage.”