Reporting Stephanie Lucero
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A new shipment of the flu vaccine is going to be available Wednesday in Dallas County. The health department is set to receive 2,000 doses. But they are not for everybody, only those who are not covered by medical insurance or covered by Medicaid. That limitation has some people — including Dallas County medical director Zachary Thompson — scratching their heads.
Many pediatricians and local pharmacies have already run out of the flu vaccine. And, in past years, there have been shortages in Dallas County. But that is not the case this time. The county said that they have enough shots. Thompson wants to share those resources with insured children, but that is not allowed.
The federal/state program is reserved for uninsured patients and those on Medicaid. Dallas County is asking the state to relax those rules during the serious flu outbreak this season. “The seriousness is when you’ve got two pediatric deaths and you’ve got families looking around for the flu vaccine. It should be made available,” said Thompson.
Dallas County officials want a fast decision in order to provide families with the best protection as quickly as possible. But there is a good deal of red tape involved. The decision ultimately rests with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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