Parkite: H1N1 vaccines unfairly distributed
November 17, 2009
With a clinic scheduled this week in Kamas, a Parkite says he is outraged because he claims that H1N1 vaccines have been unfairly distributed to the East Side of Summit County when most county residents live in Park City and the Snyderville Basin.
Several hundred inoculations were administered last week in Coalville and about 1,000 more vaccines may be distributed Friday in Kamas. The next H1N1 clinic in the Snyderville Basin is not scheduled until December.
"Where they hold the clinics should be proportionate to populations and they should make an effort to see that the population of Summit County, on an even basis, gets it," Parkite Paul Zane Pilzer said in a telephone interview Monday.
A nearly five-hour wait at the Sheldon Richins Building to receive the vaccine Nov. 6 was unacceptable, Pilzer said. Hundreds of people had lined up that day starting in the early morning hours for a chance to be inoculated against the swine flu.
"I pulled all four of my children out of school and waited in line four and a half hours and that was only 15 minutes of drive time to get from downtown Park City to the Richins Building," Pilzer said. "I didn’t have time to drive 45 minutes to an hour more."
The vaccine has clearly not been distributed proportionally to the county’s population, he said.
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"Normally, eastsiders just steal our wealth. This time they are going after our health and this has got to stop," Pilzer said. "You would think, when it comes to matters of children’s health, they would say, ‘Let’s not screw the westsiders so much. Let’s do it fairly by population. The leaders of Summit County had an opportunity to treat every child of Summit County equally, whether they live on the East Side or the West Side, and they didn’t."
But public health officials insist they have followed the advice of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in distributing the vaccines in Summit County.
Only certain people are allowed to receive the vaccines, Summit County Health Department Director Steve Jenkins said.
The inoculations are currently being given to children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years old, pregnant women, direct caregivers and parents of some infants and some older adults who suffer from health conditions.
"We knew there was never going to be enough. We had 40,000 people and 400 doses the first round," Jenkins said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "When you get 400 doses, how would you divide them? Are you going to give 10 to Coalville and 10 to Kamas and give 380 to Park City?"
Summit County Councilman John Hanrahan said there have been long waits at clinics in western and eastern Summit County.
"My understanding is that there have been lines every time they have had one of these clinics," Hanrahan said.
Jenkins said his understanding is that nobody in Summit County has died from the H1N1 virus.
"We’ve been trying to take care of the priority groups the best we can with the small amount of vaccine we have been allotted," Jenkins said. "I think we’ve done a pretty good job with what we have had to work with and most people have been very appreciative."
Friday’s clinic is Kamas is scheduled at 9 a.m. at the health department at 110. N. Main Street.