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Health officials urge vaccinations as measles outbreak strains supply

Health officials urge vaccinations as measles outbreak strains supply

Effects of a measles outbreak on the other side of the state are being felt in Tri-Cities as demand for the Measles-Mumps-Rubella(MMR) vaccine increases.

RX Pharmacy owner Randy Johnson says higher-than-anticipated demand cleaned out his Auburn-based supplier, but he told Action News he isn't worried about it yet.

He says drug manufacturers use previous years' data when predicting how many of each formula to make, and sometimes there are simply aren't enough vaccines produced for nearly-eradicated diseases.

"Certainly I haven't heard that there's been a nation-wide shortage from the production side of things with the measles vaccine," he said. "But I can tell you that us personally, I can't get any more of the vaccine in right now. In the big picture I still think there's enough in the community to take care of the needs."

Leaders from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) told Action News they're well-stocked with MMR vaccines, but they recommend calling ahead due to an increase in demand and longer wait-times.

BFHD's Dr. Amy Person encourages callers to be patient on the phone-lines because they're also experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes

Benton-Franklin Health District

  • Phone: 509-460-4200
  • Location: 7102 West Okanogan Place in Kennewick.
  • Website: www.bfhd.wa.gov
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