Health officials schedule swine flu clinic in the Snyderville Basin
November 3, 2009
Those who want to be immunized against the swine flu can attend a clinic Friday in the Snyderville Basin scheduled to begin at noon at the Sheldon Richins Building, 6505 N. Landmark Drive.
"We’re hoping to get a lot of people Friday afternoon," Summit County Health Department spokeswoman Katie Mullaly said.
With the H1N1 vaccine in short supply, health officials had been targeting children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years old. Pregnant women and direct caregivers and parents of some infants had also received the vaccine.
"We’ve now expanded it to people 25 to 64 years of age who have an underlying health condition," Mullaly said. "There are a number of people in the community that fit that category, who have chronic health problems that need to get the vaccine."
Those conditions could include asthma, neurological disease, blood disorders, chronic lung disease, heart disease, endocrine disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders, metabolic disorders or a weakened immune system.
Officials in the Snyderville Basin plan to administer about 750 H1N1 shots and 200 doses of the nasal-mist flu vaccine on Friday, Mullaly said. Summit County received additional doses of the vaccine this week.
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"We’ve had a few weeks to vaccinate the kids and now that we have enough, we’re able to open it up to more people," Mullaly said. "Part of our plan all along was to expand these groups as the weeks passed and we received more and more vaccine."
Anyone who qualifies to receive the vaccine can attend Friday’s clinic, she said.
Meanwhile, delays in production have hindered the distribution of the swine flu vaccines.
"The manufacturers’ estimates were incorrect at the initial onset of manufacturing," Mullaly said.
The live vaccine isn’t growing as quickly as producers had expected, she explained.
"The manufacturers overestimated their ability to produce vaccines," Mullaly said.
Most healthy people have still not received the vaccine, she said.
"We want to make sure that we saturate the priority groups first because those are the ones most at risk for having serious complications," Mullaly said.
In most people, the disease the swine flu has produced has been mild, Mullaly said.
"Although, there have been some people who have had some serious implications because of it," she added.
In October, about 20 percent of the patients who visited the Park City Medical Center emergency department displayed flu-like symptoms, hospital spokeswoman Amy Roberts said.
"This year, they are considering the seasonal flu to be H1N1," Roberts said.
Nobody has died from the flu at the hospital, she said.
"We’ve had a couple who were admitted," Roberts said.
Children remain vulnerable to the H1N1 virus, but cases among young adults and pregnant women have also increased, she said.
"It tends to target and affect people who the seasonal flu does not," Roberts said. "H1N1 tends to target younger adults in their 20s and 30s."
With vaccines for the seasonal flu very plentiful, doses of the swine flu inoculation are scarce, she said.
Last week, 12 deaths had been reported in Utah during this flu season that related to the H1N1 virus, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Park City School District officials have taken steps to prevent flu from spreading after an outbreak of H1N1 forced local schools to close last spring.
"We isolate the student when we suspect that they are ill," said Ray Timothy, superintendent of the Park City School District. "Multiple times in the district we have had kids go home and we have had staff members go home because they weren’t feeling well."
Doctors have diagnosed many of those kids with the swine flu, he said.
"We’ve been told that most of the cases probably are H1N1 when somebody says that they have the flu," Timothy said.
Absentee rates have been higher this year in the seventh and eighth grades, he said.