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People frustrated they can't get H1N1 shot

November 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A new poll reveals many Americans are frustrated they can't get the H1N1 shot.Raquel Ruiz got her four children out of school and drove all the way from Glendora to East L.A. to get her kids the H1N1 vaccine.

"I'm wondering why don't our doctor's officers have it? A lot of offices do not have it," said Ruiz. "How come we have to come to these free locations to get it?"

A new ABC News and Washington Post poll shows frustration with the lack of vaccine may be a factor in the decision making of some parents. In October, 39 percent of parents said they wouldn't give their kids a shot. Now 45 percent of parents say they won't.

"I can understand from a convenience level not being able to get it from your local doctor," said parent Christian Drez.

L.A. County has 10 million residents, half of which fall into the high risk groups. So far, the county has received just over a million H1N1 doses.

L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Jonathan Fielding says manufacturers promised we would have much more by now.

"You can see that there's been an imbalance between the supply and demand," said Dr. Fielding. "Right now we're sending 95 percent or more of these total allocations to private providers."

That means about 950,000 doses have been distributed to about 3,400 private doctors, hospitals and clinics.

Since October 23, L.A. County has distributed 160,000 doses. And lines at the latest vaccine clinic locations have been dwindling.

"That's disappointing, but we can't make people come to get the vaccination," said Dr. Fielding.

Safety may be a concern. In the poll, 33 percent said they were not confident in the vaccine's safety and another 23 percent said they were dubious about the H1N1 vaccine.

"The seeds of fear have been sewn and it's very, very upsetting," said Dr. Fielding.

"We just decided that this is something we had to do, and we're glad we made that decision," said Drez.

Dr. Fielding says the H1N1 vaccine's safety record is very good. It's just like any other flu shot.


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