More than 200 show up this morning for Collier's first swine flu clinic for at-risk population

Milt Treiser, second from left, waits in line for the H1N1 flu shot Thursday at North Collier Regional Park. Flu shots are being given out from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Photo by LEXEY SWALL

Milt Treiser, second from left, waits in line for the H1N1 flu shot Thursday at North Collier Regional Park. Flu shots are being given out from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The health department will offer the H1N1 vaccine to high-risk populations at the following locations;

Today, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., former Kmart, 12713 U.S. 41 E. in the Freedom Square shopping plaza.

Monday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, North Naples.

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., former Kmart, 12713 U.S. 41 E. in the Freedom Square shopping plaza.

H1N1 vaccination clinics

Collier County

The Collier County School District is offering vaccinations to all students. Elementary schools will hold morning clinics from 8:45 to 11:15 a.m. and afternoon clinics from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m., except as noted. Middle schools will host all-day clinics from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and afternoon clinics from 12:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m., except as noted. High schools will hold morning clinics from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and all-day clinics from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The following are the dates for the vaccination clinics:

Today: Gulf Coast High School will have a clinic all day.

Tuesday, Nov. 10: Lake Trafford Elementary School will have a clinic in the morning; Immokalee High School will have a clinic all day; Immokalee Middle School will have an alternate clinic from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 12: Gulfview Middle School will have a clinic all day; Golden Gate Elementary School will have a clinic in the morning; Golden Gate Intermediate School will have a clinic in the afternoon.

Friday, Nov. 13: Sea Gate Elementary School will have a clinic in the morning; Pine Ridge Middle School will have a clinic all day.

Monday, Nov. 16: Shadowlawn and Laurel Oak elementary schools will have a clinic in the morning; Avalon and Vineyards elementary schools will have clinics in the afternoon.

Tuesday, Nov. 17: Highlands and Pinecrest elementary schools will have a clinic in the morning.

Wednesday, Nov. 18: Lorenzo Walker Technical High School and Calusa Park Elementary School will have a clinic in the morning; East Naples Middle School will have a clinic in the afternoon.

Thursday, Nov. 19: Barron Collier High School will have a clinic all day.

Friday, Nov. 20: Golden Gate High School will have a clinic in the morning; Mike Davis Elementary School will have a clinic in the afternoon.

Monday, Nov. 23: Naples High School will have a clinic all day.

Tuesday, Nov. 24: Veterans Memorial Elementary School will have a clinic in the morning; North Naples Middle School will have a clinic in the afternoon.

Monday, Nov. 30: Naples Park Elementary School will have a clinic in the morning; Oakridge Middle School will have a clinic all day.

Wednesday, Dec. 2: Village Oaks Elementary School will have a clinic from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lee H1N1 clinics

The Lee County Health Department has made some schedule changes.

The clinics are at Lee County high schools.

The high-risk populations who are recommended to come to one of the clinics are pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers of infants under 6 months old, people between 6 months and 24, health care workers and people who have cancer, blood disorders, chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disorders, liver disorders, neurological disorders, neuromuscular disorders and weakened immune systems.

Clinic schedule:

Saturday, Nov. 7: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., South Fort Myers High School

Monday, Nov. 9: 4 to 9 p.m., Lehigh Senior High S chools

Tuesday, Nov. 10: 4 to 9 p.m., Estero High School

Thursday, Nov. 12: 4 to 9 p.m., Island Coast and Riverdale high schools

Saturday, Nov. 14: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dunbar High School

Monday, Nov. 16: 4 to 9 p.m., Lehigh Senior and Cape Coral high schools

Tuesday, Nov. 17: 4 to 9 p.m., Island Coast and Riverdale high schools

Wednesday, Nov. 18: 4 to 9 p.m., Fort Myers and East Lee County high schools

Thursday, Nov. 19: 4 to 9 p.m., Estero and Lehigh Senior high schools

Saturday, Nov. 21: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., South Fort Myers High School

— Nearly 950 people at high risk to get swine flu were vaccinated against it in a two-hour span Thursday after the Collier County Health Department opened its first vaccination clinic against the novel flu strain.

By 6 p.m., the health department had administered 1,800 doses, of which 200 doses were nasal FluMist.

The health department came equipped with 1,800 injectable doses to the exhibit hall at North Collier Regional Park in North Naples, nearly double what they had planned until an extra shipment arrived to help boost up the supply.

“We will have another 1,500 doses for (today),” said Dr. Joan Colfer, executive director of the health department, referring to a clinic today in East Naples at the former Kmart location from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The amount could increase if more supply comes in, said Deb Millsap, spokeswoman for the health department.

With 16 nurses in two separate areas inside the exhibit hall on Thursday, one area for families and the second for all others, people waited about a half hour if they arrived mid-morning when the line had thinned out.

The health department warned that the clinic doors wouldn’t open until 10 a.m. but about 200 people arrived early anyway making for a much longer wait. Several Collier County sheriff’s deputies were on hand and the health department had 40 volunteers handing out consent forms.

The first handful of Naples residents arrived shortly after 7 a.m.

“I thought there would be a long line like Lee County,” said Michael Williston, 45, the first to arrive. He has asthma and the seasonal flu hits him hard when he doesn’t get the vaccine, let alone when there’s a new strain such as H1N1 that has caused a pandemic nationwide.

Second in line was Dennis Dutremble, 62, who has congestive heart failure.

“My wife dropped me off early,” he said. “It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be.”

Colfer, health department director, said volunteers walked the line and talked to people to make sure they understood the vaccine would only be given to people in high-risk groups. That involves anyone under 64 with a medical condition, pregnant women, health-care workers, people who care for infants under six months, and people six months old to 24.

For one very ill man, Colfer arranged for a nurse to give him the vaccine while he sat in his car in the parking lot.

“He had multiple, multiple problems,” she said. “In this case, it was just easier to take the nurse out.”

Most people coming to the clinic are under 64 with medical conditions that make them susceptible to flu, she said.

Amanda Bayoumi, 31, is pregnant and due to deliver Dec. 3.

“My OB recommended it (the vaccine) and so did my brother-in-law who is a nuerosurgeon,” she said. “I think they should have taken pregnant women and children first, just to make it a little easier.”

Linda Bartok, 60, has multiple sclerosis and is flying to California on Monday, so she needed to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

“I really thought it was going to be awful but it’s not too bad,” she said of the line.

Danielle Buck, had her 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Violet, who didn’t seem to mind doing nothing while waiting in line.

“We talked about it,” she said. “She has been vaccinated so she is used to shots.”

Corinne Degalan, 21, brought her 3-year-old son, Landon Lockie, for the shot. She was frustrated the family line was longer than the other line. “It’s moving pretty slowly.”

Some people older than 65 had to be turned away because they are not in a risk group, Millsap, spokeswoman for the health department, said.

“They were disappointed but they understood,” she said. “And some didn’t understand so well.”

One reason the family line with children was longer may be due to parents not signing consent forms in school or their kids being absent when the vaccine was given in school, Millsap said. She also received a lot of calls from parents of home-schooled children and there are some private schools that opted not to have the health department conduct vaccination clinics.

One nurse from the health department is giving the vaccine at day-care centers with 25 or more children.

Cindy Whetsell, the health department’s immunization coordinator, said she felt Thursday’s clinic went well and she is optimistic the East Naples clinic today would go smoothly.

“I think it will be busy but I think it will be about the same,” she said. “It definitely is a group effort.”

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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