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Flu vaccine shipping delay cancels a 'flu clinic'

Original post made on Oct 16, 2009

A shipping delay in this year's seasonal flu vaccine has forced cancellation of a "flu clinic" scheduled for Oct. 17 at the Los Altos Center of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 16, 2009, 1:50 PM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Frustrated Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I've been visiting PAMF's flu information website every week since August, hoping to get the necessary vaccines for my family. First PAMF said they would hold the clinic earlier than past years (late September or early October). Then they held different clinic dates for patients living in different areas. The website said patients are supposed to attend the clinics that serve their area, but some of my friends who live in Mt. View went to Palo Alto anyway and were able to get their shots. Then another friend just made an appointment with her children's pediatrician in Mt. View, and got their vaccinated that way. In the meantime, I waited patiently for the official clinic. And guess what? The Mtn. View center still has not received its shipment!

So I am very frustrated that I followed PAMF's directions, with the unhappy result of leaving my children unprotected.

PAMF, what do you have to say?

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Posted by LauraR
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm

I agree!

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Posted by Hello
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm

When it comes to the health of you and your family, waiting patiently isn't an option. You have to be aggressive and go after the care you need. PAMF wasn't the only sourse for flu shots. Many drug stores also gave the shots before they too were affected by the shortage.

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Posted by Frustrated Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm

To Hello: I did go to drug stores. Walgreens, Longs, Target, you name it. However, the shots they were giving out were not suitable for children.

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Posted by Whojustcough'd
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm

PAMF should not have disclosed the "month early" seasonal flu vaccine clinic dates until after they received, or a minimum, confirmed ship dates of enough dosages to cover their members. Like Frustrated Mom, there was no warning of any vaccine shortage until it was too late. It is also a shame that there is only a very limited number of flu vaccine clinics in the bay area that cater to kids <9yrs old. Let's hope that the "month early" flu shot clinics resume before the next flu outbreak.

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Posted by me
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I stumbled upon flu shots being given out at Nob Hill on Saturday 10/17, around 5pm. $25.00 There were two people ahead of me.

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Posted by ImNoChump
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:47 am

For my kids I make an apmt every year w/ PAMF. The whole flu shot fiesta hootenanny cattle call they do each year is a waste of our time.
The one year I did it it took about an hour. Not a huge deal, but the doc apmt usually takes 15 mins.
I get my own when _I_ want to (without giving up a chunk of precious saturday morning) at Target or Safeway or the like when I'm also there shopping.

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Posted by Cynthia Greaves, PAMF Public Affairs
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2009 at 1:15 pm

We understand your frustration and anger. The delay of the vaccine is a national phenomenon, not a problem only for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF).PAMF placed its order with flu vaccine manufacturers ahead of schedule, but unfortunately, we don’t have control over when our supply is shipped to us by the manufacturers. We fully anticipated being able to provide vaccinations at our seasonal flu clinics based on the information we had in August and September. All of PAMF’s clinic locations are experiencing delays in their shipment of seasonal flu vaccine from the manufacturers because the federal government has mandated that vaccine manufacturers complete production of H1N1 flu vaccine supply before completing production of seasonal flu vaccine. As a result, we are unable to offer seasonal flu vaccines at this time at any of our locations except to our patients who are at highest risk of complications from the flu. We do expect to receive our full shipment of seasonal flu vaccine later this fall, and when we receive our supply, we fully expect to be able to offer vaccine to all of our patients who want it. We realize, however, that is of little consolation right now.

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Posted by Frustrated Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Thank you for responding, Cynthia. My frustration is with the fact that PAM offices in Palo Alto, Los Altos, and other locations received their seasonal flu vaccines allotment, but the Mtn. View location for whatever reason did not get theirs. The disparity makes me feels like someone at the Mtn. View office dropped the ball.

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Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 21, 2009 at 1:09 am

Thank you Cynthia for taking the time to respond to this discussion post. Your comments are appreciated. I would, however, recommend that PAMF update their seasonal and H1N1 flu websites a little more frequently in order to put many researching parents at ease. When it comes to the health and well being of their children during a semi-panic situation (daily articles being published about the H1N1 mortality rate in children), parents need to hear/feel that PAMF is on top of the situation and providing them [parents] with the most up-to-date information. Seeing the train coming at you out in the open is better than hearing it coming at you in the pitch dark. I think that was the point poster "whojustcough'd" was trying to make. Thanks.

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Posted by Cynthia Greaves, PAMF Public Affairs
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2009 at 10:39 am

Unfortunately, none of our locations received their full allotment of seasonal flu vaccine for the reasons I mentioned. I can understand why you might think there was a specific problem at our Mountain View location, but we received less than a third of the order we placed with the manufacturer for doses of seasonal flu vaccine for adults and less than half of the order we placed for doses of seasonal flu vaccine for children.

Due to this shortage, only children who already had appointments for pre-existing matters or regular check-ups received a flu shot. This is why your friend’s child received a vaccination at their appointment.

Communication has been a challenge during this flu season as information about our shipments of vaccine from the manufacturer has changed often. Unfortunately, this is not something we can control. We will continue to do our best to post current information on and appreciate you sharing your thoughts on how we can improve.

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Posted by No-Longer-As-Frustrated Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Thank you very much for the info, Cynthia. I appreciated your latest response.

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