1,000 get flu vaccine in Vermillion

Just over 1,000 – 1,033 to be exact – flu vaccinations were given to young people and people in risk categories during Thursday's flu clinic in Vermillion.


That's according to data received by Mayor Dan Christopherson shortly after the vaccination clinic ended at 7 p.m. Oct. 29.


Four hundred sixty doses of the H1N1 vaccine were administered to people from Clay and Union counties, the mayor, who served as media liaison, said. The number of seasonal flu shots given that day totaled 573. And some of the group of 1,033 people received both H1N1 and seasonal flu inoculations.


"You had to be under 5 years old to qualify to receive H1N1," Christopherson said. "A lot of people wanted it, but the state mandated that we couldn't give it except to that group."


He said a shortage of the H1N1 vaccine added to the uncertainty of who would qualify to receive it, and whether it would be available in Vermillion.


"I believe it was Tuesday when it physically arrived in the community," he said. "It was on again, off again several times."


Vermillion had 1,490 doses of H1N1 available at the start of Thursday's point of distribution event. That means just over 1,000 H1N1 shots were left over at 7 p.m.


Christopherson understands that some people may be frustrated that they couldn't receive the H1N1 vaccine because they didn't fall under the state's strict guidelines – especially in light of the fact that so much of that particular vaccine went unused Thursday.


The mayor hopes that the state department of health may eventually hold another clinic similar to Thursday's in the community and allow a broader category of people to receive the H1N1 vaccine.


"I thought the turnout today was great – especially the first hour to hour-and-a-half," Christopherson said. "We had people waiting in line outside before the doors even opened. That first group was really serious about wanting to get protection for their children."


The day served to be a learning experience for everyone involved in the process of administering the flu vaccines.


"We found out where the bottlenecks were, and we'll look at maybe doing some things differently the next time we have something like this," he said. "It was a really good day; we had great volunteers with a lot of people from the medical community and from the Vermillion community, itself."

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