Nearly 1,600 vaccinated at H1N1 flu-shot clinic

DOWNEY - The free flu-shot clinic sponsored by the City of Downey and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) on Dec. 5 was successful.The clinic was held at the Downey Adult School on Woodruff Avenue because the Downey Theatre and the Barbara J. Riley Community Center were both previously reserved. The new clinic location worked well for the attendees and workers. There was ample parking in the rear lot of the school and more than adequate space and support facilities for clinic operations. Moving the clinic to the school was an opportunity for city and Downey Unified School District (DUSD) staff to work together on a project. The result of the collaboration between City, DUSD, DPH and the volunteers was a very efficient flu-shot clinic for the community. Due to limited vaccine supplies, the director of DPH directed his staff to limit the vaccinations to specific targeted groups. After the initial screening of the attendees, all of those in the targeted groups were vaccinated as quickly as possible. DPH staff members and volunteers successfully dispensed the H1N1 vaccine to 1,597 area residents during the course of the December clinic operations. Nearly half of those vaccinated were children. Many of the children were there for their second vaccination. Over 500 people were in line waiting for their vaccinations when the clinic opened at 9 a.m. Public health officials say the vaccination process interrupts the virus transfer cycle of one person passing the virus to another as a key to minimizing the impact of a flu virus on the community. Volunteers, city staff and county staff walked the entire waiting line to ensure those waiting for vaccinations were aware of the previously set priority groups for Saturday's vaccinations. This action was carried out approximately 60 minutes before the opening of the clinic More than 50 Downey area volunteers worked hard to ensure the clinic operated efficiently. The registration area was staffed by nursing program students from the Downey Adult School. Volunteer members of the Downey Emergency Preparedness Committee and the Community Emergency Response Team assisted with the operations of the clinic for the entire day. Volunteers from the Fire Explorer and Auxiliary groups and the Police Explorers were instrumental in assisting with the flow of traffic and the crowd as they waited for their vaccinations. City staff from Police, Fire, Public Works, Administration and Community Services Divisions all contributed to the organization and operation of the event as well. Questions can be directed to ready@downeyca.org.

********** Published: December 11, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 33