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Meningitis vaccine no longer available for all at Gregg County clinic

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
April 10, 2012 at 10 p.m.

An official says the Gregg County Health Clinic has received numerous calls in the past several days regarding meningitis vaccine, but a lack of state funding has made the vaccine unavailable for adults 19 and older.

Brandi Browne, the clinic's immunization program manager assistant, said the vaccine is offered free at the clinic for residents 18 and younger who meet certain guidelines and is available for about $125 to $150 at various pharmacies in town.

"Colleges require this for incoming students, so we've been getting a lot of calls in the past couple of weeks, because this is about the time of year when high school students are receiving their college acceptance letters," Browne said.

The vaccine had been available at the clinic for free up until a couple of weeks ago to adults younger than 30, she said. However, the state does not have the funds to provide any more meningitis (MCV4) vaccines for adults 19 and older.

"I can hear the frustration in the students' voices when they call and we tell them we no longer have the meningitis vaccination," Browne said. "Our main goal is to let the community know we no longer have the meningitis vaccination for anyone over 18 years old, and we will not be receiving any more."

Pharmacies that have the vaccine available include the Kroger pharmacy and the Walgreeen's pharmacy on East Marshall Avenue, she said.

The Kilgore College nurse's office also offers the vaccine to its students, at a cost of $135, college spokesman Chris Craddock said.



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