School-based swine flu vaccination clinics canceled as Washtenaw County seeks central site
All swine flu vaccination clinics scheduled to begin next week at Washtenaw County schools have been canceled after hundreds overwhelmed a county vaccine distribution Tuesday.
Officials decided to scrap plans to hold smaller clinics throughout the county in favor of larger, more central locations with more volunteers, said Susan Cerniglia, a county health department spokeswoman.
The first of the smaller clinics was set to begin Monday morning at Ypsilanti High School. Other clinics were to follow at other school districts next week.
Hundreds of people flocked to the Washtenaw Intermediate School District building and waited in line for hours — a majority with small children — for a chance to get the swine flu or H1N1 flu vaccine on Tuesday.
The clinic was set to start about 3 p.m., but began turning people away from the line as early as 4 p.m. As the lot filled, people began parking on the street, causing traffic congestion as rush hour began and raising concerns about those who were walking along the street to get to the clinic.
Concerns were also raised about having sufficient places for those who were waiting to sit or get access to bathrooms and water.
Last week, the county announced it had received about 30 percent of the vaccine it expected to receive by this point. It narrowed its definition of groups who would take highest priority in receiving the vaccine.Â
The vaccination clinic will still only be available to those highest priority groups in Washtenaw County. Those groups include:
â€¢ Pregnant women.
â€¢ Household caregivers of children younger than 6 months.
â€¢ Children ages 6 months though 4 years.
â€¢ Children between the ages of 5 and 18 who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk of having complications from the flu.
â€¢ Health care workers who provide direct patient care.