Nearly 650 residents get flu vaccines

DOWNEY - Volunteer groups and a small number of staff hosted a successful city-sponsored seasonal flu vaccination clinic last Saturday.The volunteers were from the Rio Hondo nursing program, Downey CERT, the Warren High School Humanitarian Society and the Emergency Preparedness Committee. Two officials from the L.A. County Dept of Public Health attended the clinic to answer health-related questions. Vaccines were donated by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health. The entire crew worked efficiently from the moment the clinic doors were opened. Approximately 150 residents were in line when the clinic started. The wait for vaccinations was fairly short once the clinic staff vaccinated those who arrived early. The clinic closed at 1:15 pm. This year special efforts were made to notify targeted community groups (children and seniors). Over the course of the four hours of clinic operations, nearly 650 community members were vaccinated. Many of those vaccinated were young children and senior citizens. The first person vaccinated was a 91-year-old resident who everyone moved to the front of the line! Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center and Downey Regional Medical Center were both helpful with support and professional guidance. Supervisor Don Knabe was also supportive of this event. Emergency preparedness information was offered to all who attended. 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 leads 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 leads to fewer local emergency room visits at DRMC and Kaiser(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 volunteers have experience with a 'point of distribution' (POD) site and a working relationship with the L.A. County Department of Public Health. For those who were unable to attend the Downey flu vaccination clinic and are still in need of a flu shot, the LA. .County Department of Public Health offers free flu vaccinations at their office at 7643 S. Painter Ave. in Whittier. Questions or comments about the Downey flu vaccination clinic should be directed to -Mark Sauter, city of Downey

********** Published: November 17, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 31