The free flu-shot clinic sponsored by the City of Downey and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) on Tuesday was a very well-attended event. More than 1,000 people were in line waiting for their vaccinations when the clinic opened at 1 p.m.On Tuesday morning, because of limited vaccine supplies, the director of DPH directed his staff to limit the vaccinations to specific targeted groups: young people 6 months of age to 24 years, pregnant women, chronically ill people age 25-64, health and emergency care providers and those caring for (or living with) infants less than 6 months were all vaccinated as quickly as possible. At one point in the afternoon more than 500 people were vaccinated in a one hour period of time. DPH staff members successfully dispensed the H1N1 vaccine to 2,460 area residents during the course of the clinic operations. Once DPH officials arrived at the clinic with the new directive, volunteers and staff walked the entire waiting line to issue the new information. This action was carried out approximately 90 minutes before the opening of the clinic. Unfortunately, many in line had already been waiting for a few hours. Those in line who were not in the targeted groups were informed of the recent decisions. As a result of the changes on Tuesday morning, many more members of the targeted groups in attendance were vaccinated. More than 60 Downey area volunteers worked hard to ensure the clinic operated efficiently. The registration area was staffed by students from Downey Adult School, the Emergency Preparedness Committee and the Community Emergency Response Team. City staff from Police, Fire, Public Works, Administration and Community Services Divisions all contributed to the organization and operation of the event. Kaiser Hospital and the County Mental Health Department provided informative handouts and small gifts to attendees. Future Downey free flu-shot clinics are planned for Saturday, Nov. 14 and Dec. 5. However, at this time DPH is unable to confirm the availability of the H1N1 vaccine for these clinics. Once the availability of the H1N1 vaccine for these clinics is confirmed, Downey area residents will be notified through the Downey Patriot newspaper and the City website.
********** Published: October 30, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 28