Mass Vaccination Clinics Update

WHO:              Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in every county in the state, along with local partners from law enforcement, local and county government and thousands of volunteers statewide

WHAT:            Mass Vaccination Clinics—the largest vaccination effort in the state’s history

WHEN:            Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 29-31  CHECK YOUR LOCAL AREA FOR EXACT TIMES



·       Supplies of H1N1 vaccine are arriving in the state in very limited quantities.  This is happening in states nationwide.

·       We have more seasonal vaccine available this year than in past years, but we expect the demand to be high.

·       We would like to be able to vaccinate everyone who wants to get the H1N1 vaccine during the Mass Flu Clinics scheduled for October 29-30, but there is not enough vaccine at this time.

·       Our supply of H1N1 vaccine is so small that we are currently vaccinating only priority groups at most risk for serious complications from H1N1 flu:
1.      pregnant women, because they suffer the most complications from flu infection;
2.      children 6 months through 4 years of age, and children 5 through 18 years of age with underlying medical conditions.  These include:  chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, cognitive, neurologic/neuromuscular, hematological or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus); children that are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus); are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and therefore might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;  are residents of long-term care facilities.
3.      We will vaccinate persons in these two priority groups until our supply of H1N1 vaccine runs out.

·         We ask for the public’s patience at the mass flu clinics.  Many of the staff at the clinics are community volunteers.  They and ADH staff are doing the best they can to vaccinate as many people as possible given limited vaccine supplies and adverse weather conditions.   Local ADH staff and volunteers did not set the priorities for who would receive vaccine.  These are national recommendations based on people most at risk for serious complication from flu.

·         There are positive indications that the supplies of H1N1 will increase substantially over the next 3-4 weeks and additional mass flu clinics will be scheduled at later dates.  Also, as supplies increase, we will be providing vaccine to the roughly 900 private providers that have pre-registered to distribute vaccine.

·         As we get more H1N1 vaccine, those doses will continue to be given to priority groups first. These include pregnant women, children ages 6 months through                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     24 years, health care workers and emergency medical responders, people living with and caring for infants under 6 months of age, and people ages 25-64 years with underlying health conditions (like asthma and diabetes).

·         All vaccines are FREE at the mass vaccination clinics, but we ask that if you have insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or ARKids First, bring your cards with you so that we can file with your insurance.