Mass clinic serves 550 at Blount Health Department

Shannon Lowe, left, looks on as nurse Susan Nuchols gives her the H1N1 vaccine at the Blount County Health Department on Oct. 24.

Shannon Lowe, left, looks on as nurse Susan Nuchols gives her the H1N1 vaccine at the Blount County Health Department on Oct. 24.

Nurse Brooke Everett fills vaccine needles during the mass clinic at the Blount County Health Department on Oct. 24.

Nurse Brooke Everett fills vaccine needles during the mass clinic at the Blount County Health Department on Oct. 24.

Blount County Health Department dispensed 550 doses of H1N1 flu vaccine during a mass clinic on Oct. 24.

Micky Roberts, administrator for the Blount County Health Department, said the event was a success. “Let me say why it was success. Number one, it was a community, collaborative effort,” he said.

Roberts thanked Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp and the Maryville police who were instrumental in helping with the turn out. He thanked the media for getting word out about the clinic and the guidelines for those eligible for the H1N1 vaccine.

“We gave out 550 doses. In the first hour, we did 125, both flu mist and injectables as children are currently high risk based on current CDC guidelines,” he said. “Our staff, I think, did a superb job. They’ve trained for mass dispense clinics, and they worked to serve people as best they could.”

Roberts said that based on feedback from people who received the vaccine, they were initially concerned by waiting in line because so many were there a couple hours before it started. “Once they came through triage in the clinic, they were happy to receive it, and it didn’t take as long to receive it,” he said.

The administrator said they are still operating under CDC guidelines for the highest priority group, which is children. “Once more vaccine becomes available, we’ll be able to provide it for folks over 65,” he said. “Currently they are not in a high risk group, according to the CDC.”

Roberts said the event was open to anyone. “We didn’t check IDs. These mass clinics are for residents of the state of Tennessee,” he said.

“It’s available for folks who are eligible for it in the general clinic,” he said. “As soon as we get another shipment, we’ll look at other mass clinics in the community.”

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