Large Turnout Expected for Fresno H1N1 Clinic

November 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Fresno County health officials are expecting a large turnout at a free H1N1 vaccine clinic today.Manchester Center management said they've been bombarded with calls asking about Wednesday's clinic. It doesn't start until 4 p.m., but they're expecting lines to begin forming early this morning; and if some people had their way, they'd have waited here overnight.

The lines at this week's two Fresno County flu clinics have been long, but no one has been turned away.

Still, because of the high demand, health officials are expecting big crowds at Manchester Center Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, mall management fielded anxious questions from people who wanted to wait overnight.

"We have had people call, asking if they can come start a line earlier this afternoon. But we shut down at eight, so not possible," said Laura Geuvjehizian with the Manchester Center.

Fresno County health officials said they have 10,000 doses of the vaccine and they're expecting another shipment this week. They're hoping people will keep that in mind, even as they bring in extra staffing in anticipation of today's rush.

"Because we expect a lot of people, we would like people to recognize there is a big demand for it, to recognize this isn't the only time that they can get the H1N1 vaccine, and to be patient," said Dr. Edward Moreno with the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Both nasal mist and flu shots will be given out free of charge, but health officials are still targeting those at higher risk for complications including young children, pregnant women and those with other health issues.

In the North Valley Tuesday, hundreds lined up to get vaccinated. Merced County has about 5,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine available. But health officials say the hardest part is stocking enough shots for children.

The flu mist is being reserved for healthy children older than two. Children six months to two years will get the injectible form.

Merced County is ordering more of the vaccine and they expect to have enough to last through next week.

Only H1N1 vaccines will be available here at the Manchester Center Wednesday at 4 p.m. The seasonal flu shot will not be available.

Health officials are stressing there are 9 more clinics scheduled.



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