Swine Flu Vaccine Distribution Plans Differ in Each County in Mid-Michigan

By: Jennifer Dowling Email
By: Jennifer Dowling Email

When the H1N1 or Swine Flu vaccine arrives in mid-October, East Lansing High School will be on the front lines of the distribution. East Lansing Public Schools Director of Human Resources Kelley Peatross says the school is a designated site to distribute the vaccine for their students and then the public.

Ingham County Health Officials say right now, they're planning to vaccinate at schools the first week in November. Christine Hendrickson, Health Educator-Emergency Preparedness, says, "We're finalizing our plan, thus far, what we're looking to do is to go out to different parts of the counties to various schools and hold mass immunization clinics at those schools."
Hendrickson says,, "We're not looking to go to every school...For example, if we were to go to Williamston, maybe we would grab the Williamston schools and maybe because of our proximity to Webberville that we also pick up some of the Webberville schools as well...we're still working that out."

The county says it's still working out the exact dates and locations where the vaccine will be distributed at the schools. Health officials say they will know more in the coming days and weeks. Hendrickson says, "We're finalizing with the schools and finalizing with the dates we would like to come."

Not all counties plan to vaccinate at the schools. In Clinton County, Mid-Michigan District Health Department Health Officer Kim Singh says they are planning a 12-hour countywide clinic in Saint Johns. In Eaton County, Barry-Eaton District Health Department Medical Director Robert Schirmer says they are encouraging everyone to see their health care provider for their shots first. They are also planning for mass clinics at their seasonal flu clinic locations. He says those will be at the same clinics where people get flu shots every year. That includes a church outside of Charlotte.

Jackson County Health Department Director of Personal and Prevention Health Services Mary Ricciardello says their goal is to have a school-based community clinic in each district. She says the county will also hold Swine Flu H1N1vaccine clinics at the same places where they give out the seasonal flu vaccine every year.

James McCurtis, a spokesperson for the Department of Community Health says, "We're leaving a lot of those plans up to the local health departments...where they want us to send their amount to...the different doctor's offices"

Meanwhile Peatross says on vaccination day, the East Lansing High School plans to vaccinate high school students in the morning, middle school students in the afternoon after they are brought in by bus, and elementary students in the evening. She says the public will then be welcome.


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