PHOTO: 5:30 AM THE OUTDOOR TENT WAITING AREA FOR THE FREE H1N1 FLU SHOT, COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT, HELD AT THE LANE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS.
PHOTO: ABOUT 30 PEOPLE HAD ALREADY TAKEN THEIR PLACE IN LINE AT 5:30 AM.
There were two Sheriff's Police officers there. I asked one officer if he had ever had done "vaccination patrol" before. The answer was no.
2009 SEASONAL FLU CLINICS
2009 LCPH Seasonal Flu Clinic Schedule -
October 5th Lane County Fairgrounds-Wheeler Pavilion8-4 p.m. 796 West 13thEugene OROctober 14th Lane County Public Health1-4 p.m. 135 E 6th AveEugene OROctober 16th Scandinavian Festival Hall--Postponed9-11 a.m. 195 5th AvenueJunction City OROctober 16th Veneta Community Center--Postponed1:30-3:30 p.m. 25192 E. Broadway AveVeneta OROctober 21st Lane County Public Health--Postponed1-4 p.m. 135 E 6th AveEugene OROctober 23rd Cottage Grove Community Center--Postponed9:30-11 a.m. Shepherd Room700 Gibbs AvenueCottage Grove OROctober 28th Lane County Public Health--Postponed1-4 p.m. 135 E 6th AveEugene ORNovember 4th Lane County Public Health--Postponed1-4 p.m. 135 E 6th AveEugene ORNovember 11th Lane County Public Health--Postponed1-4 p.m. 135 E 6th AveEugene ORNovember 18th Lane County Public Health--Postponed1-4 p.m. 135 E 6th AveEugene ORNovember 25th Lane County Public Health--Postponed1-4 p.m. 135 E 6th AveEugene OR
Note this was just for the regular flu shot, not the H1N1 shot.
My workplace does have regular flu shot clinics, where our insurance provider has a nurse come & give shots. This year, they had 2 days scheduled, a Monday & Wednesday option. I had signed up for the Monday slot, and on Tuesday, they sent out an e mail saying they had run out of shots & the 2nd session had been canceled.
My Doctor's office indicated they were given nine H1N1 shots to distribute... and he has thousands of patients! They had no idea if or when they might get more H1N1 immunizations, and did not have a waitlist. Their best advice was to keep calling every two weeks to see if something might be available.
So I do understand the severity of the shortage. At the same time, it was announced that their ability to produce H1n1 shots is a time consuming process, and those shots would be in great shortage. As a result, they would first distribute the vaccinations ONLY to high risk groups.
Priority groups who will receive the vaccine as soon as it becomes available:
- All those aged 6 months to 24 years
- Pregnant women
- People caring for or living with infants under 6 months of age
- People aged 25-64 with underlying medical conditions (such as asthma, immune deficiencies,cancer, diabetes, etc.)
- Health care workers and emergency medical responders.I will also say the screening process was marginal and in violation of the HIPPA privacy act.Kind of lined up like cattle, as the line streamed into the entranceway, a County official asked "Your reason for being here?" (i.e. what is your qualifier for being at risk?)One guy said he is a caretaker, the bouncer said that is not qualifying, he said I care for my grandkids too, so they let him in. (technically, he did not qualify)The next woman said she has a suppressed immune system.One guy said no, another guy said yes & let her in. These were the people who had been there since 5 am, waiting in line for 4 hours.That process was sketchy at best & no proof was required.But I felt like having to answer the private medical qualifier question in front of the line of people was in violation of the HIPPA medical privacy & confidentiality laws.Imagine your reason being AIDS/HIV & having to announce that in a crowded line.My answer was "So much for the HIPPA privacy laws, Eh?"Once in, you filled out a paper which once again had the priority checklist of questions. You had to have one YES item checked off to proceed.The form also asked if you had any shot in the last month & if you have a cold now or feel sick.Theoretically, if you answered yes to any of those priority qualifying items, you were approved. If you answered yes to any disqualifying items, you would be rejected- even if you just spent 4 hours out in the cold, waiting in line.But it was not until you went through the whole process, and were sitting at a Nurse's station & they reviewed the form one more time, and made the final approval, that the shot or nasal spray was given.My best advice~ Keep a close watch on your County Health department's updates. Even if flu shot availability of any kind has been bone dry, some fine day, a shipment will arrive & you too can enjoy a similar experience. If they have multiple dates available, go for the earliest date.Flying above all this, at the Fairgrounds, was a tattered American Flag, in all, this situation was surreal.
LOTS OF BABIES BUNDLED UP IN STROLLERS. THIS ONE BROKE LOOSE FROM HER MOM & FELL IN A LARGE PUDDLE OF WATER. LUCKILY HER MOM HAD A CHANGE OF PANTS FOR HER THREE HOUR WAIT IN THE COLD.