H1N1 clinics coming to Arapahoe County

Posted 10/23/09

Tri-County Health Department plans to host a number of H1N1 vaccination clinics in Arapahoe County during November and December. The clinics are part …

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H1N1 clinics coming to Arapahoe County


Tri-County Health Department plans to host a number of H1N1 vaccination clinics in Arapahoe County during November and December.

The clinics are part of a larger vaccination effort being organized throughout Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams counties, the areas covered by the intergovernmental health department.

The federal government-sponsored vaccine will be offered free of charge, but will only be provided to those in several higher-risk priority groups. They are:

Anyone 6 months to 24 years of age

Pregnant women

Caretakers for children under 6 months old

People ages 25 to 64 with certain chronic medical conditions, including a weakened immune system

Health care workers with direct patient contact

Tri-County is asking residents to visit tchd.org for updated information on the places and times for the clinics, which will mostly be held in schools to accommodate the large number of vaccine-eligible students.

Scheduled clinics are subject to change and will be dependent upon availability of the much in-demand vaccine for H1N1 or so-called “swine flu.”

“There have been delays in manufacturing and distribution of this vaccine. If it all dries up, we’ll have to regroup,” said Dr. Richard Vogt, Tri-County’s executive director.

At press time, two clinics had been tentatively scheduled at Arapahoe Community College, 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. They are set to take place in the main building’s dining hall and in room M1950 on Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days.

Tri-County is requesting residents attend clinics in their own county to make it easier for health departments to accommodate everyone. Long lines are a possibility, according to Vogt. Reservations are not required.

The vaccine will be available in a multi-dose shot form that uses the thimerosol preservative and as a preservative-free nasal mist for those 2 to 49 years of age. Once administered, the vaccination takes one to two weeks to be effective.

Vogt, who as a health worker has already received his vaccination, does not know how many doses will be available in the three-county area.

“That changes on a daily basis,” he said. “It has slowed up tremendously in terms of what we were projecting. We were supposed to receive 80,000 by mid-October. By the end of this month, we will have received a little more than half of that.”

In any case, Vogt wants to assure the public that the quickly-approved vaccination is safe. From a practical standpoint, he says, the H1N1 vaccine is in many ways identical to the seasonal flu shot.

“The seasonal vaccine has been administered to hundreds of millions without adverse effects,” the doctor said. “So the two vaccinations are kind of like baking two cakes, one with vanilla, one with chocolate.”

For more information about the clinics at Arapahoe Community College, call Heather Wilcox, director of student affairs, at 303-797-5674.

The vaccination is also being offered free of charge in some physicians’ offices, but patients may have to pay a small administrative fee.


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