Doctors across the Puget Sound region are frustrated with the slow distribution of the H1N1 flu vaccine. Many, especially pediatricians, have people continuously calling for the vaccine, only to be told none is available.
Some offices have resorted to announcing the arrival of the medication on their answering machines or web sites. When doses do come in, offices are usually overwhelmed with patients.
"Just because we get a shipment of vaccine doesn't mean we stop seeing our other patients," says Mary Price, office manager at University Place Pediatric Clinic in Pierce County which released 200 doses Thursday morning. "Now, it gets 3 to 4 times as busy."
Officials at the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department say they have only received about 100,000 doses of the 500,000 doses they were promised, and they don't know when, or if the supply line will open up.
It's the same story across much of the country. Health officials say until more of the vaccine is available they're focusing on getting the limited doses they have to the groups at highest risk.