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Officials: Too few getting H1N1 vaccine

Posted December 16, 2009

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— Public health officials said Thursday that not enough people in North Carolina are getting vaccinated against the H1N1 flu virus.

Last week, state officials lifted the restrictions on who could get vaccinated, and immunization clinics run by county health departments were opened up to everyone over 6 months old. More than 145,750 vaccinations were administered last week, up from 107,400 the preceding week, officials said.

Girl gets H1N1 vaccination Health departments taking flu vaccine to people

After that initial rush, though, officials say demand for H1N1 shots has petered out.

"In the following days, it did kind of level out somewhat," Wake County Community Health Director Sue Lynn Ledford said.

"The serious implications that people may have been expecting to see, with lots of deaths or lots of hospitalizations, they've not really seen that. So, people aren't taking it as seriously as we had hoped," Durham County Health Director Gayle Harris said.

Billy Allen said he got vaccinated in less than 10 minutes during a Wednesday visit to the Wake County Public Health Center, on Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh.

"We were fortunate that we were able to come at what may be considered off-hours," Allen said.

North Carolina is one of 27 states still reporting a widespread flu outbreak, so officials are trying to get people vaccinated any way they can.

"We feel that a lot of the parents maybe cannot get to the sites that we have," Ledford said, noting her department is starting to hold immunization clinics at day care centers and schools and is keeping some clinics open as late as 7:30 p.m.

According to state figures, children age 4 and younger account for the largest number of H1N1-related visits to hospital emergency departments

"When we go out to the sites like the schools, and we are starting to go out to some day cares, we see a tremendous turnout," Ledford said.

Durham County is also exploring ways to get people vaccinated, Harris said. Her office is working closely with Duke University to share the local supply, and the health department plans to hold a major immunization clinic at several local schools on Jan. 9.

Brooke Thomas didn't wait for that clinic, taking her children to the National Guard Armory in Durham on Thursday to get the family vaccinated.

"This is more important than anything, so I'd rather do this than go out Christmas shopping," Thomas said.

The state Department of Health and Human Services constantly adjusts the supply of H1N1 vaccine to keep up with the demand. Currently, 45 percent of the supply is going to physician offices, 35 percent to health departments, 15 percent to hospitals and 5 percent to pharmacies statewide, officials said.

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  • DontAnnoyMe Dec 17, 2009

    Bendal1, do some research and stop listening to the medicrats. The concept of herd immunity is a fallacy.

    See http://www.whale.to/a/herd.html.

  • Bendal1 Dec 17, 2009

    It's called "herd immunity", people. If enough people get the vaccines, then everyone is protected because the virus cannot spread from one unvaccinated person to another.

    That means your child doesn't get it at school or daycare because someone else's child got vaccinated. That means you don't get it because your coworker got vaccinated. If it can't spread, then it dies off; that's why they're saying not enough people are getting the vaccinations.

  • patriotsrevenge Dec 16, 2009

    I just got mine at Apex High School, take care of yourselves folks, get vaccinated.

  • moth Dec 16, 2009

    Whats shocking and surprising to me is how many people actually fell for this flu scam without questioning anything.They are starting to learn but are still clueless.

  • AtALost Dec 16, 2009

    If it wasn't important for me to get a month ago, it's not that important for me to get it now. I'm not sure that H1N1 is hype or not, but I'm leery of any rushed vaccine and know that WHO and any other organization will say whatever they're told to say. Millions have STDs yet nothing is being done to prevent it. You're only tested when you request it or AFTER you have symptoms. The focus is on selling treatments which are often removed shelves AFTER they're found to be dangerous. It does feel like human trials and I just assume everyone is infected.

  • DontAnnoyMe Dec 16, 2009

    Or could it be that people have learned that the shot is useless more than half the time, and is in fact dangerous? As seen on http://swineflu.mercola.com/sites/swineflu/home.aspx.

  • turkeydance Dec 16, 2009

    P.L.A.E. cornered one aspect...how about these?
    1. after saying NO it's Not For You...only
    the "at risk" population can get it now,
    regular folks just gave up. it's Christmas
    Time now. think about it next year.
    2. my wife had H1N1 three weeks ago.
    same ole same ole flu. laryngitis was the best part. 3. finally, this drives sales. H1N1 helps WRAL in it's ratings. hey, i'd do it too, if i could figure out a way.........

  • kathysawyer Dec 16, 2009

    I am confused, didn't they just issue a recall of the H1N1 vaccine for children yesterday? If it has been recalled how can children in NC get the vaccine?

  • mom2threecld Dec 16, 2009

    so yesterday they are recalling the vaccine and today complaining tha people aren't getting it.

  • anonemoose Dec 16, 2009

    Yep, the people have seen through the doomsday hype. The World Hysteria Organizaton ( Gov't version of Spectre, or would that he the UN?) loses this one.

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