Marion County health officials are currently only vaccinating ‘high risk’ groups for H1N1, and a slow-down in vaccine production means the wait will be a little longer for people in the H1N1 ‘priority’ groups. Public Health Director Kim Dorn says the ‘closed’ clinics currently include pregnant women, transplant patients, and EMS workers. Tentative ‘open clinic’ dates have been set for Marion County, and are subject to change based on the amount of vaccine available. The tentative ‘open clinic’ dates are:
October 31 Pella
November 5 Knoxville
November 12 Bussey
November 14 Pella
November 19 Pleasantville/Melcher Dallas
November 21 Knoxville
Health officials will contact KNIA/KRLS first with any changes or vaccine updates. Dorn says the H1N1 vaccine slowdown is not a shortage, but a temporary delay, adding the reason larger cities have gotten the shots already is because the vaccine is distributed on a population-basis. Public Health Nurse Judi Van Hulzen adds that H1N1 is not as easily transmittable as the traditional flu.
Above all, county health officials are encouraging residents to always wash their hands, cover their coughs and stay home when sick.
Residents with general questions about H1N1 should call the H1N1 hotline at 1-800-447-1985. For other county-specific questions, residents can call 828-2238.