Although H1N1 vaccine production is getting a slow start, the CDC does not expect vaccine shortage. Everyone who wants H1N1 vaccine should be able to get it over the next few weeks and months. As the Health Department receives additional H1N1 vaccine shipments, additional clinics will be scheduled as quickly as possible.
Since October 30, registered nurses from the Health Department have given over 6,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine, at 19 clinics, to the CDC's "vaccine priority groups". Unlike other parts of the state, no one was turned away because vaccine supplies ran out.
"We're receiving vaccine shipments weekly," said Pat Fralick, Director of Family & Community Health Services for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. "There are still a lot of people in the priority groups--children, teens and adults--who need to be immunized."
The Health Department will also offer school-based clinics during the school day for middle school and high school students upon request, Fralick said. "Vaccination is the best protection against influenza," she said. "High vaccination rates protect families, schools, and communities against flu outbreaks. That’s why we're working so hard to get the vaccine out quickly to high risk groups, including school age children."
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information about H1N1 flu or H1N1 vaccination clinics, visit www.nwhealth.org or call 800-432-4121.