H1N1 clinic on Sunday in Ypsilanti

I don’t want to freak people out, but this afternoon Washtenaw County had its first H1N1 death. And, that’s not the worst of it. According to AnnArbor.com, the person who died wasn’t someone in one of the so-called high-risk groups… Details, I suspect, will be coming out shortly.

I’ve been wanting to get Clementine vaccinated for the past few months, but an opportunity never presented itself. Every time her pediatrician had shots available, they ended up going (as they should have) to kids in higher risk categories, like infants and those suffering from asthma. This weekend, though, I’m told there’s a clinic taking place in Ypsi that’s open to individuals up to 24 years of age, and I plan to take her. Here’s the information, in case you want to stand in line with us.

WASHTENAW COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH CONFIRMS HOURS FOR H1N1 CLINIC

Wristbands Available Starting at 9:00 am on Sunday, November 22 at EMU

YPSILANTI, Mich., Nov 17, 2009 —Washtenaw County Public Health Department will provide H1N1 vaccinations to priority groups at a mass clinic on Sunday, Nov 22nd at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Convocation Center. The Center is located at 799 N. Hewitt, Ypsilanti MI 48197. Vaccinations will begin at 10:00 am and continue until 7:00 pm, or until the last person with a wristband is served. Wristbands will be provided to eligible persons starting at 9:00 am, one hour prior to the clinic opening. A wristband indicates the individual has been screened for eligibility and a dose is available. Wristbands are first come, first served, while supplies last. Parents and guardians may pick up wristbands for their children and return with the children at the appointed time. A parent or guardian must accompany minors under 18 during vaccination. In addition, individuals may pick up wristbands for persons with physical disabilities affecting mobility. An individual must be wearing a wristband to receive an H1N1 vaccination.

“With our limited H1N1 vaccine supplies, we remain focused on those persons most at risk of severe complications. We are also continuing our strategy of providing vaccinations to large numbers of county residents at central locations,” said Dr. Diana Torres-Burgos, MD, MPH, Medical Director for Washtenaw County Public Health. She went on to say that mass vaccination clinics are only one part of Public Health’s overall distribution strategy: “Our local hospitals, universities and community health care providers are also receiving limited supplies of the vaccines,” she continued.

Sunday’s clinic at EMU is open to persons in the priority groups defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The clinic is walk-in only. Public Health staff will screen and provide wristbands to eligible persons on site, starting at 9:00 am. Wristbands correspond to a specific time slot. Individuals may choose to wait, or to return during the appointed time.

There will be some sheltered space for waiting once the clinic opens. All persons are asked to dress appropriately for the weather.

According to CDC guidelines, priority groups for H1N1 vaccine include:
• Pregnant women
• Household and caregiver contacts of infants younger than 6 months of age
• Health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient care
• Individuals from 6 months though 24 years of age
• Individuals 25 through 64 years with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of influenza-related complications

Examples of underlying medical conditions include: chronic lung diseases such as asthma or COPD; weakened immune systems; cancer, diabetes, kidney or liver disorders; cardiovascular disease (except hypertension); and other conditions. Individuals within these priority groups should live, work or attend school in Washtenaw County. Specific documentation of underlying medical conditions or residency is not required. Health care and emergency services personnel should bring their employment identification.

Public Health will provide both H1N1 flu shots and the FluMist (nasal spray) at Sunday’s clinic. Preservative free, injectable H1N1 vaccine is not currently available at the scheduled clinic.

Public Health reminds residents to use basic prevention strategies to avoid illness and to seek medical care when needed:
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand gels are also effective.
• Stay home if you are sick. Stay home at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever without fever-reducing drugs.
• Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or who appear ill.
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze by using a tissue or your sleeve/elbow.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Contact your health care provider for any of the following: difficulty breathing, bluish color skin, not drinking enough fluids, irritability, symptoms that improve then worsen or if the person with flu symptoms has an underlying medical condition.

For updates to the H1N1 vaccination clinic schedule, visit www.ewashtenaw.org/flu. Public health nurses and health educators are available to answer more detailed questions 734-544-6700.

And, in related news, someone finally found a real use for Twitter… The online short messaging broadcast service is being used to disseminate information about the flu, vaccine availability, etc. in Washtenaw County. Here’s the lowdown:

Speaking of keeping track of H1N1 information, I also just heard that Washtenaw County was also using Twitter to disseminate Here’s a clip from the press release:

Public health organizations, hospitals and concerned citizens of Washtenaw County ask residents with access to Twitter to include the hash tag, #WashtenawH1N1, when tweeting about their experiences with H1N1 within the county.

The goal is to provide a single resource for residents of Washtenaw County who want to know where H1N1 vaccine is available, and how long wait times may be at various locations.

Instructions:

To tweet information, log-in to Twitter with your User ID and include the hash tag, #WashtenawH1N1, in your tweet.

To read the information, visit http://twitter.com and search for the hash tag, #WashtenawH1N1. Tweets will be searchable for up to seven days. Information at the top of the list is the most recent.

Or, once tweets begin to be posted, you will find the real-time stream of tweets here: http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23WashtenawH1N1.

Oh, and according to that AnnArbor.com story linked to above, so far 45 individuals have died as a result of H1N1 in Michigan… not to create a panic, or anything.

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5 Comments

  1. Stephen
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    You know that by posting this you’re just going to be making the line longer, right?

  2. Kristin
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Eastern ha had two clinics already. One at the Children’s Institute and one bigger like this one, and they appear to have run very smoothly.

  3. Stephen
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I hate to further terrify folks, but I just received the following news update from the Washington Post:

    Norwegian scientists raise concerns about mutated form of swine flu

    A mutated form of the virus has been found in two patients who died and one who became severely ill, but scientists say it does not appear to be circulating in the general population.

    For more information, visit:
    http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/3873VC/NDN0E/YBHKH5/0Z8G37/QLRAV/CM/t

  4. Ted
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Stop all incoming flights from Norway!

  5. Posted November 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    The details are now out about the Chelsea man who died. It’s horribly sad stuff.

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