BRITISH COLUMBIA: Dozens denied hepatitis A shots in Victoria as demand exceeds supply
Posted: April 3rd, 2012 - 1:45pm
Source: Times Colonist
People’s fear of contracting hepatitis A from a local grocer turned into frustration Sunday when about 200 people were turned away from getting vaccinations.
Customers and employees of the Fairway Market deli on Quadra Street were urged to be immunized after a worker at the store tested positive for the virus last week.
Health officials held immunization clinics both Saturday and Sunday, urging everyone who ate at the deli on specific dates to get a shot to prevent even the slightest chance of spreading the illness.
About 110 doses were given out at the Victoria Health Unit on Cook Street on Saturday. By late Sunday afternoon, the remainder of the available 640 doses had been used, leaving many who had waited in line dissatisfied.
The lineup of people stretched from the front doors of the health unit, on Cook near Pembroke Street, to the intersection of Caledonia Avenue.
“A lot of people are not happy about it,” said one woman who stood in line for nearly two hours before being told the vaccine had run out. She did not want to her name to be publicized, but said “it’s not fair” that people were not told of the limited stockpile sooner.
“I had to get time off work today. They [her employer] didn’t even want to let me go … and now I have to come back again,” she said.
Colleen Emberly said she can’t remember the specific date of the last time she ate at the market’s deli. But with her cancer in remission, she wanted a vaccine in order to avoid any complications.
Emberly waited about 45 minutes and was inches away from the door when she was told the vaccine had run out.
“I don’t think they expected quite this many people to come out,” she said.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority had advised that anyone who ate food prepared in-store on March 18, 19, 20, 22, 25 or 26 to receive a hepatitis A vaccine as a precaution. Any food purchased from the deli during that time should be thrown out.