DOWNEY - Last Saturday, many volunteers including nursing students, members of the Emergency Preparedness Committee and the Community Emergency Response Team, and the L.A. County Department of Public Health and a small number of city staff hosted a seasonal flu vaccination clinic outside the Downey Theatre.Approximately 200 residents were in line when the clinic started at 9 a.m. The entire crew worked efficiently and steadily reduced the number of people in line to an average of 40 after 11 a.m. The wait for a vaccination was fairly short once the clinic staff caught up with the number of attendees. The clinic closed at 1:15 pm. The vaccination process seemed to work effectively. Over 770 community members received the attention of the clinic staff. Two groups of student nurses (Rio Hondo College and Shepherd University) and students from the Warren Red Cross Club were very helpful this year. This year is the first time additional vaccines were offered (and administered). The Pneumo-vax vaccine was offered to seniors and 53 attendees elected to take this vaccination. Pneumonia is a very serious complication for seniors and can often be fatal. The Tetnus-Dyptheria-Pertussis (TDAP) vaccine was also offered. Pertussis is also known as whooping cough. The number of cases of whooping cough is on the rise this year and it is considered a very serious respiratory problem. There have been fatalities as a result of the whooping cough outbreak. Many have been vaccinated for Pertussis in the past but have not had their recommended booster shot. Over 190 clinic attendees elected to have the TDAP vaccination as well. Besides the obvious hope of a reduced number of community members becoming sick with a preventable (and potentially fatal) illness, we are optimistic the vaccinations will: •interrupt the flu sickness cycle (public health staff believe each case of the flu leads to another 4-5 cases) •fewer people with the flu-whooping cough-pneumonia leading to fewer Fire Department incidents (fewer incidents means the paramedics are available for other emergencies such as heart attacks and accidents) •fewer people with the flu-whooping cough-pneumonia leads to fewer local emergency room visits at Downey Regional Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente (fewer visits means less wait time for paramedics and other community members who need bed space for a patient) •serve as a real-life exercise for the involved staff. If an epidemic were to occur, our community has experience with a point of distribution (POD) site and a working relationship with the L.A. Co Dept. of Public Health. The clinic staff delivered 1,008 vaccinations (seasonal flu-TDAP-Pneumo-Vax) during the 4-plus hours of clinic operations. Using an average cost of $25 per vaccination, the community received over $25,000 worth of services on Saturday. For those who were unable to attend the Downey flu vaccination clinic, but are still in need of a flu shot, TDAP or Pneumo vax, the L.A. County Department of Public Health offers all three vaccines (for free) at their office at 7643 S. Painter Ave. in Whittier. Questions or comments about the Downey flu vaccination clinic should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
********** Published: November 11, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 30