Changes to School Swine Flu Clinics

The Ingham County Health Department had a plan to fight swine flu in schools.

"We were going to immunize high schoolers, then middle schoolers and then in the evening we were going to open our clinics for elementary-age students," says Marcus Cheatham, of the Ingham County Health Department.

But they hit a road block.

"What's happened is, we just really don't have enough vaccine to do that," Cheatham says.

So, students in Okemos, Lansing and East Lansing, who were planning on getting the swine flu shot at school, will have to wait, unless they're high priority, meaning they have an underlying medical condition that puts them at a greater risk for flu-related complications.

"These are the people that can really end up with a terrible hospitalization, or even, in rare cases, people are dying of this thing," Cheatham says. "We're trying to get the vaccine to them, so we're asking the rest of the community to take a step back."

Cheatham says the vaccine will be available to those high-priority students at Okemos High School, Wednesday, and at Kinawa Middle School, Thursday, during the school day.

Those students will need to provide proof of their condition: a pill bottle, prescription, or doctor's note.

But as for the students who don't qualify as high-priority?

"We're gonna do folks as soon as we get that vaccine," Cheatham says. "I just hope it's soon."

Until then, they'll play the waiting game.

The health department is in the process of scheduling clinics at Lansing and East Lansing schools.

There will be a swine flu clinic at Chippewa Middle School in Okemos on Thursday from 4p.m.- 7p.m. That's for anyone in the community who's designated as high-priority.


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