In two days, the registration for two Albany County H1N1 clinics being held next week became full, according to county officials.
Those who were wishing to receive the vaccine at the clinics being held on Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Times Union Center and Tuesday, Nov. 24, at the Berne Knox Westerlo Elementary who have not yet registered will now have to wait for another clinic to be scheduled by the county.
After Albany County received a shipment of 1,100 H1N1 vaccines on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
According to Mary Duryea, spokeswoman for Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, the county had 2,343 vaccines left over from the last clinic, which was held on Sunday, Nov. 15. But two days from when the county announced on Wednesday, Nov. 18, that it would be holding two more clinics, the remaining vaccines, with the addition of the new shipment, were spoken for.
Our registration filled up today, Duryea said Thursday, Nov. 19. `There are no more spots for those [clinics] right now. Those are flled up.`
Duryea said the county shipped some of the 2,343 vaccines left over from the first clinic to pediatricians in the county. The remainder will be distributed at the clinics.
According to a county press release sent on Wednesday, Nov. 18, there would be enough of the vaccine to distribute to 2,000 individuals at the Sunday clinic and 300 individuals at the Tuesday clinic.
`We just encourage anyone who is in those target groups to get the vaccine as recommended by the Center for Disease Control,` Duryea said. `Those people have the most complications from the virus.`
The target groups, Duryea said, include people from four to 24 years old; people 25 to 64 years old who have medication conditions that leave them at a higher risk for flu-related complications; people four years old and older who live with or provide care for infants younger than six months old; pregnant women; and health care personnel.
These two clinics will only be servicing the target groups as described above, according to the press release.
`At this time, the Albany County Health Department does not have vaccines for children six months through three years of age,` the release said.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, Duryea said the reason the two clinics planned for this week will not be servicing children at those age groups is because those children require a different dosage and that the county had run out of that dosage during the first clinic and have not yet received more.
Duryea said that while it is not known when more clinics will be available for distribution of the vaccine, that the county is planning clinics on a weekly basis after it receives shipment of the vaccine.
`We really schedule them on a weekly basis because it depends on how much of the vaccine we have,` she said.
Duryea said the county never knows how much of the vaccine it will receive and when it will receive it, and that it is at the discretion of the state health department and Centers for Disease Control as the vaccine has limited availability at this time.
`The demand for the vaccine is high and there is a limited quantity of it,` she said. `It makes our planning a little difficult. We don’t know how much we’re going to get and when we’re going to get it.`
The county is planning future clinics, though it is not yet known when, she said.
Duryea said that the county decided to have one clinic in Berne so that it could spread out the clinics in the county and be able to provide those county residents who do not wish to come down to the Times Union Center an opportunity to receive the vaccine.
`People may not want to come to downtown Albany, so we’ll probably be holding them at several different locations to make it as accessible as we can to the people of Albany County,` said Duryea.
The clinic on Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Times Union Center will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free parking will be available at the Times Union Center garage.
The clinic at the Berne Knox Westerlo Elementary School, 1738 Helderberg Trail, Berne, is being held from 3:30 to 7 p.m.
Both clinics will require those wishing to receive a vaccine to make an appointment either by telephone or online prior to the clinic.
For more information on the H1N1 influenza, visit the Albany County Department of Health Web site, or call 447-4505 for the Albany County Flu Line.
For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Wednesday, Nov. 25, print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.“