Despite Rain, Fresno H1N1 Vaccine Clinic Had its Hands Full

November 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
In the Valley -- Thursday's rain kept some people from waiting for a H1N1 vaccination. But health officials still had their hands full.By the end of the day 2,500 to 3,000 David Luchini with the Fresno County Health Department says a number of things helped get people in and out of the clinic quickly-- the weather--not offering the seasonal flu vaccine and extending the clinic over a six hour period.

The lines for Thursday's H1N1 clinic started early-- before noon there were close to a thousand people trying to beat the rush.

David Rogers said, "At six they were already lined up around the corner they got here at midnight."

But once the rain settled in the lines grew shorter-- however that didn't stop many from braving wet, cold weather.

Patricia Smith said, "We were thinking the lines would be shorter because people wouldn't want to be out in it, but they don't seem to care."

Thursday's clinic is one of three scheduled H1N1 clinics for the Fresno County Health Department. Recently officials canceled six clinics that would have offered H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. Norma Sanchez says long lines and a shortage of the seasonal flu vaccine forced the health department to change its plans.

'We needed to get bigger centers in order to serve the whole group here otherwise we would not be able to do it," said Sanchez.

Some say they came because they were concerned about the cancellations. Others say they were here for different reasons.

Patricia Smith explained her reason, "When they announced there's been over four-thousand deaths related to swine flu. I was thinking oh no, we've got to get our swine flu vaccine."

"Most of it was families that wanted their children to get it," said Rogers.

With 46 hundred doses available for this clinic-- health officials say they are still waiting for a new shipment of the vaccine for the next two clinics.

"Those clinics will stay as scheduled because we have enough doses of vaccines for that long or period of time and it always comes in so we always have enough for everybody to go around," said Sanchez.



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