Schools still waiting for H1N1 vaccines - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/20/09

Schools still waiting for H1N1 vaccines

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By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock Health Department is still waiting for the first batch of H1N1 vaccines to arrive. Once the health department receives their shipment, the first vaccines will go to public schools in Lubbock County to target the younger at-risk groups.

Tuesday morning City Council approved two contracts with staffing agencies Advantage Medical Staffing and Nursefinders that will find nurses to help give the H1N1 shots to students in the eight districts within the county.  "We were contacted from city office to help provide shots for H1N1 clinics for school districts, we're looking probably anywhere from 15 to 52 nurses per clinic," said Advantage Medical Staffing CEO Molly Harris.

Those nurses will go through training, and then go to public schools in Lubbock County to give the shots. Each school district has set up their own schedule as to when the free clinics will be held and the shots will be free for students in pre-k through 12th grade.

There are nearly 45,000 students within the county, but the health department will only receive enough vaccines for about 60% of those students. "It's through our Public Health Preparedness section that's ordered the vaccine and I believe they've ordered 22,000 doses, and that's just to take care of kids within the school systems," said Public Health Coordinator Beckie Brawley.

The Public Health Emergency Response Grant will go to staffing the clinics."The state has provided grant funding to Lubbock County close to half a million to pay for salaries of the nurses and nurse's assistants to help us conduct the vaccine clinics," said Deputy Chief Lewis Treadwell of the Emergency Management Department.

As for when the schools will receive the vaccines remains a mystery. The clinics were scheduled to begin as early as November 3rd, but now Treadwell says it could be near the middle of November before shipments are in.

In order for a child to get the shot, parent's must first sign a release form.  These clinics will not be made available in private schools in the county but H1N1 shots can be found through private medical providers and pharmacies once they arrive.

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