NEWS 5 INVESTIGATES: Local access to MMR Vaccine

Mobile County
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MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG)- The Centers for Disease Control says it’s seeing the largest number of measles cases since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.

According to its website, so far this year there are 704 confirmed cases in 22 states.

One of those is a baby in St. Claire County, Alabama. At five months old, Emma Kate is too young to be vaccinated. “It was scary to know she did have it and she could have passed it on to other people. It is kind of frustrating to know that she didn’t have to get it. This is something that could have been prevented,” said Emma’s mother, Audrey Peine.

The diagnosis was confirmed publicly Thursday morning by the Alabama Department of Public Health in Montgomery.

“The vaccine is widely available. it’s not expensive. For virtually all people, it’s covered by insurance and there are no shortages of the vaccine,” said a representative with the department. 

But locally, Mobile resident Nancy Joynt says she’s not sure if she was vaccinated as a child and if she was, it was in the early ’60s. That vaccine is now considered ineffective.  “Me getting a disease, I’m not worried about. Me bringing a disease back to my husband, my friends, my family, I worry about that. Why do I even consider I might bring something back? I travel for my job so I’m going through an airport,” Joynt tells News 5.

She tells us she spent days trying to find a place that had the vaccine available for adults. “We contacted multiple pharmacies here in town. We contacted multiple clinics. We contacted our personal doctor and we got the same answer every place we called: no we don’t have the adult version of the vaccine.”

So we did the same thing. We called local pharmacies, urgent cares, even hospitals. Everyone we spoke to told us they didn’t have the MMR vaccine for adults, except for Walgreens Pharmacy.

Several places referred us to the Mobile County Health Department.

In a release this week, it said it has a, ‘very limited’ supply of the vaccine for adults. A media representative tells us as of Friday, it only had 14 adult vaccines available at its downtown location.

We have reached out to the media relations departments for hospitals in Mobile to find out if and when they plan to get the MMR vaccine in stock.

CVS employees also tell us they’ve been waiting weeks for their MMR vaccines to arrive.

We have also reached out to its corporate office. This article will be updated once we hear back.

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