Vaccine shortage causes county health dept. to cancel community clinics

By on October 29, 2009

Kane County—The Kane County Health Department announced today that it has canceled its scheduled Monday clinics due to the lack of vaccine.

Because of the ongoing nationwide vaccine shortage, the Health Department is not expecting to receive any shipments large enough in the foreseeable future to conduct the Community Clinics scheduled for Nov. 2 and Nov. 9.

“We are pleased that we were able to vaccinate more than 10,000 people on Monday Oct. 26. However, going forward, I don’t see us receiving enough vaccine to be able to conduct the mass clinics that we had scheduled,”said Paul Kuehnert, executive director of the Health Department. “We are asking our residents to follow our website for any updates on vaccine availablity in Kane County.”

In order to accommodate those who need the vaccine the most, the Health Department has established an appointment system for its dispensing. Kane County residents who fall into the priority groups listed below can call the Appointment Line at (630) 444-3189 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to schedule appointments for H1N1 vaccinations. Vaccinations will be given at Health Department’s offices, 1330 N. Highland Ave., Aurora and 113 Grove Ave., Elgin, clinic locations on Mondays and Thursdays.

In September, the Health Department ordered 64,000 doses of the vaccine, and on Oct. 16, it received a delivery of 17,500 doses split nearly evenly between the LAIV (nasal mist) and IM (injectable) types. This represented one of the largest supplies for any agency in Illinois. After the Oct. 26 clinic, and pushing vaccine out to first responders and health care workers, the Health Department has exhausted its supply.

Nearly 200 other private providers have ordered the vaccine, and few if any have received any. Similarly, other county health departments, some of which have scheduled their own clinics, have received no, or very limited supplies.

“We expect to receive more, we just don’t know when or how much,” Kuehnert said. “Given that other agencies have not received their orders, we anticiapte their orders will take precedence. We were terribly lucky to get what we did.”

The priority groups are:
• pregnant women
• people who live with or provide care for infants aged less than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers)
• health-care and emergency medical services personnel
• people aged 6 months to 24 years
• persons aged 25 to 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

Residents can take everyday steps to help prevent the spread of the flu virus by covering their cough, washing their hands and staying home if they’re sick. More information about the H1N1 and seasonal flu is available at www.kanehealth.com.

About Elburn Herald

The Elburn Herald has been serving the Kaneland communities since 1908. To reach our editor, Keith Beebe, email info@elburnherald.com, or call (630) 365-6446, ext. 105. To reach our owner/publisher, Ryan Wells, email RyanWells@elburnherald.com, or call (630) 365-6446, ext. 107.

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