Flu Vaccines: Finally, comes some solid information on how to obtain the flu vaccine for my patients. Where did I get this information? Not from the CDC's twice weekly email alerts. The instructions came in the mail, from medical supply distributor Henry Schein, Inc. The letter was dated December 2, but just arrived in the mail yesterday. According to the company, in mid-November they gave the CDC the names and addresses of everyone who had ordered flu vaccine from them, and the amount ordered. The CDC then used that information to decide how much flu vaccine to distribute to each state. The distribution of the vaccine will then be up to each state's health department. Notably, there's been no communication from the Ohio State Health Department. Nor from the local health department, aside from their newspaper announcement of a flu vaccine clinic early in November.
Henry Schein must be wondering what's up. Their letter urged me to contact the person in charge of the vaccine for my state and request my flu vaccine doses. (And of course, to ask that Henry Schein, Inc. be the distributor.) Evidently, the information will be sent to the CDC and then to Henry Schein, and sometime, maybe, I can get some flu vaccine. But, if it took a month to get the information for ordering to me, how much longer will it take to actually get an order filled? Will I get the vaccine before Spring, let alone before flu season begins in 2 to 4 weeks?
Information for each state is here. For doctors out there looking for vaccine, call the person listed as "IZ."