Collier County Health Department has begun immunizing for the H1N1 virus, commonly called the swine flu.
More than 1,000 people were vaccinated by the end the first swine flu clinic in Southern Collier County held Friday in the former Kmart at the corner of U.S. 41 and Collier Boulevard. The health department initially announced three clinics for high-risk individuals and as of Friday, additional clinics were announced.
The huge empty building of the former Kmart easily accommodated the hundreds of patients and approximately 45 health workers and volunteers providing the shots and dealing with the paperwork, Friday.
Until more doses of the vaccine are available, only high-risk individuals are receiving the shots – or a nasal spray option for children, said Collier County Health Department Spokeswoman Deb Millsap.
Those more than 64 years old are not yet eligible, as they are less likely to contract swine flu.
Pregnant women, those under 25 years old, and persons aged 25 to 64 years old with certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk, along with those who live with or care for infants under six months, are currently the groups being vaccinated.
“People are happy we finally have the vaccine available. We have 1,600 doses today, and we’re getting more almost every day,” said Millsap. “There is no charge for the treatment.”
Clinics are scheduled for Saturday in Immokalee, Monday in North Naples, and back at the East Trail Kmart on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The clinic is anticipated to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. again. Additional clinics will be scheduled as more doses become available. For the latest information on H1N1 vaccinations in Collier County and for details on each clinic go to collierprepares.org or call 252-8200 and hit option 2.