Friday, October 16, 2009

First Buncombe County H1N1 Vaccine Clinic Scheduled

This press release from the Buncombe County Health Center just arrived in my inbox. The first H1N1 shots take place tomorrow!

Buncombe County Health Center has scheduled its first H1N1 flu vaccine clinic for some individuals who are at highest risk of complications from flu.  These include:
  • Pregnant women
  • Children 6 months through 4 years
  • Individuals 5 – 24 years of age who are at high risk of complications from flu (such as chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems)
  • Healthy people 49 years and under who care for infants under 6 months of age
These are the only groups that will be vaccinated at this first clinic.

The Health Center has narrowed the priority list for this clinic because of a limited supply of vaccine.  “Pregnant women and children have shown the highest rate of hospitalization and death overall so we’re beginning with them”, said Gibbie Harris, Health Center Director.  More shipments of the H1N1 vaccine are expected and the priority groups eligible for it will expand as more vaccine arrives.  “We hope the community will support this effort and let those most at risk get the vaccine first,” said Harris. This vaccine comes from a variety of sources, and the Health Center has no control over what is received but will provide what is available now in this clinic. 

This first H1N1 flu vaccine clinic will take place Saturday, October 17 from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm, or earlier if this vaccine shipment is depleted. Other important points:
  • The shot in the arm will be available as well as flu mist for those who meet certain medical qualifications.
  • Anyone who has had seasonal flu mist must wait at least 28 days before having H1N1 flu mist.  These people may have the H1N1 shot at any time after the flu mist.
  • There is no cost to individuals for this vaccine.
  • Those who attend the clinic on Saturday should park in the County parking deck and enter the Health Center from the courthouse side rather than the front parking lot.  Entrance to the deck is on College Street across from the Courthouse.  The public may also enter the deck from Woodfin Street this Saturday.  There will be no charge to park in the deck during the H1N1 vaccine clinic.
As additional vaccine arrives in the county, some area physicians will receive allotments for their pregnant patients as well as for their patients who are young or who fall into a high risk group.  Those who are unable to attend the clinic on Saturday should check with their physician to see if they will receive vaccine.

This supply of the H1N1 shot has a trace amount of preservative.  Children who are under 10 years of age will need to have a second dose of the H1N1 vaccine in order to have full immunity from this novel flu.  The second vaccine should be received at least 4 weeks after the first.

The Health Center will notify the media anytime we plan an H1N1 vaccination clinic.  The Flu Vaccine Hotline (250-6400) will also be revised when additional clinics are scheduled

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