Marion County rolls out H1N1 vaccine plans for IPS

Indianapolis – Marion County Health officials announced their most ambitious effort yet to get H1N1 vaccinations to school children. Also, mass immunization clinics reopen Wednesday and Hamilton County opens its first public clinic.

Students in IPS and seven other Marion County school districts are bringing home consent forms making them eligible to receive H1N1 vaccinations during school beginning Monday.

“It is a major step. It is a major initiative to really protect us from a major out break in the community,” said Dr. Virginia Cain, Marion County Health Department.

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Public health officials are starting with tens of thousands of elementary school children who attend IPS, Decatur, Perry, Pike, Speedway, Warren, Washington, and Wayne Township schools.

Believing there will be enough vaccine, health officials appear more concerned with children giving the required consent forms to their parents. At best, Dr. Cain expects only half of them to be completed and returned in time.

“I will be honest with you. It is going to become a major barrier,” she said.

Mass inoculations resume Wednesday and Thursday at Lafayette Square. In two days, the clinics expect to vaccinate 10,000 pregnant women, children and young adults and others in the high risk priority group.

Hamilton County opens its first public clinic Wednesday.

“We have effective vaccinations plans in hand. It is a matter of having enough vaccine to execute them,” said Tony Benge, Hamilton County Health Department.

At the 4-H fairgrounds in Noblesville, there will be only 500 doses of vaccine available.

Jessica Wheeler’s oldest child attends elementary school.

“I think the classroom next to her had ten kids out with H1N1 so I want her to have it right away,” said Wheeler.

Although local health departments are still not getting as much vaccine as they expected, shipments are getting bigger.

For now, Marion County is offering school vaccinations only in public schools that agreed to hold them during school hours. It is important for parents to check those back packs and ask children for the consent forms and return them right away.

Based on participation at each school, health officials will announce later in the month when those students ages 9 and under can receive the second of the required two H1N1 vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that two doses of the H1N1 vaccine are needed for those ages 6 months old to 9 years old to provide maximum protection against the virus.

Nurses will work at one township and one IPS elementary school each day. The goal is to complete these elementary schools by November 20.

During the week of November 30, middle and high school students in the four townships and IPS will be vaccinated.

The Marion County Health Department would like to have the school-aged children vaccinated before the traditional Christmas break.

Hamilton County:

The Hamilton County Health Department is holding a public priority group H1N1 clinic on Wednesday, Nov. 4th at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The clinic runs from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm or until the vaccine supply (500 doses) runs out.

The priority groups are as follows:

· Pregnant women

· Persons 6 months to 24 years of age

· Persons between the ages of 25 to 64 with medical risks associated with a higher risk of flu complications (e.g. asthma, diabetes)

· Household and caregiver contacts of children younger than six (6) months of age

There will be 500 doses of vaccine available at the clinic and once the 500 doses are depleted the clinic will end.

Marion County

Marion County is offering H1N1 vaccinations November 4th and 5th at the Lafayette Square Mall. Hours are 3:00 to 7:00 pm Wednesday and 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Thursday. The health department says it has about 10,000 doses on hand.

Johnson County



Also, the Johnson County Health Department will hold an H1N1 flu vaccine clinic on Nov. 9th from 2:00 to 6:00 pm at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Franklin (use the far west entrance off Jefferson Street). That clinic is also limited to high risk groups as noted above.

Call 736-3130 for questions about vaccine availability in Johnson County.

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