(Grand Rapids, MI) – The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) announces that reservations are no longer being accepted for the novel H1N1 influenza vaccine clinics scheduled at the health department on November 14 and 21. Since last Tuesday, those in certain priority groups for vaccination have been calling the United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline to make reservations at one of three vaccination clinics. 2-1-1 staff worked diligently to take calls and fill the schedule. As of 5:03 p.m. Monday, all reservations were filled.
KCHD held the first of three clinics this past Saturday, November 7. Clients and staff reported that the reservation system allowed for a smooth and efficient experience, with very brief wait times. Health Department staff expects that the two upcoming clinics will operate just as efficiently.
At this time, Kent County’s H1N1 vaccination efforts are still targeting Kent County residents who are:
• Caretakers of children under 6 months
• Between the ages of 6 months and 24 years
• Between the ages of 25 and 64 and have a health condition associated with a high risk of medical complications from influenza.
So far, Kent County has received over 70,000 doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine. Local healthcare providers have received a large portion of vaccine to vaccinate those in the target groups. Anyone who belongs to one of the target groups and who would like to be vaccinated against novel H1N1 influenza should contact their health care provider to see if the provider plans to offer the vaccine.
“We do anticipate that anyone who wants a vaccine will eventually be able to get one,” said Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer for KCHD.
As vaccine becomes more widely available, KCHD will provide information on how to get vaccinated on its web site, www.stickittotheflu.com. Those wishing to be vaccinated are encouraged to check the site often, and exercise patience as local care providers and the health department strive to protect Kent County residents through distribution of vaccine, a powerful public health tool.