LOS ANGELES – It was bound to happen: Some people who aren’t at high risk for swine flu complications got the much-in-demand vaccine.
Sometimes they were healthy adults or senior citizens instead of kids, pregnant women and people with health problems.
Before Los Angeles County health officials stepped up screening at their flu clinics, Natalie Thompson sailed through the long line and got the vaccine along with her 8-year-old son, even though she’s not in one of the priority groups.
“If I can get it, I’m not gonna say no,” said Thompson, 35, of Hollywood Hills.
Another mom, Katy Radparvar, didn’t say no either.
“Our doctor doesn’t have it yet,” said the 41-year-old woman who was vaccinated along with her three children at a public health vaccination site in suburban Encino last week.
Public health officials don’t want to be vaccine police. Many don’t turn anyone away who wants the vaccine, though some locations are tougher than others.
“For many this is a frustrating process and we really sympathize with those who show up at a clinic and can’t get vaccinated,” said Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding.
Across the country, thousands have waited in line and many have been turned away, as manufacturers have trickled out the slow-to-produce vaccine. Things are improving, and now about 25 million doses are available, the government says.
Aware of scant supplies up front, Santa Barbara County clinics administered their 4,400 shots to pregnant women only. San Diego County is only immunizing those on the priority list, but is taking the word of residents.
Look, it’s simple. Like anything in this world, there is never enough of it to satisfy everyone’s desire for it at full capacity. That is, if free, there would never be enough Coke, gasoline, tennis shoes or hair brushes. Medical care is the same. And when organizing a nation, that fact should not escape anyone; especially the leaders. The hard thing to acknowledge is that we know people will get sick. Some people will die.
The good news is that medical technology will continue to hum along generating new and better services and techniques that will cure or heal people today that a mere five years ago would have been fatal. And you simply HAVE to take solace in that.