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Yates expects more swine flu clinics

TRI-COUNTY AREA—The first H1N1 (swine flu) vaccinations for Yates County were held Monday, Oct. 19.
The clinics, provided by Yates County Public Health, will give the vaccinations to these target groups first:
• Pregnant women.
• All people ages 3 to 24 years old.
• Health care and emergency services personnel.
• People aged 25 to 64 with health conditions associated with a higher risk of medical complications from influenza (heart or lung disease, diabetes, HIV, etc.).
As of Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Yates County Public Health had not yet scheduled another swine flu vaccination date.
Deb Minor, deputy director of Yates County Public Health, said this is just the first of many vaccinations focused on the target groups. She said the state has been sending weekly shipments of the swine flu vaccination since the week of Oct. 5. Minor said over the next few months the clinics will be for the target groups until the Center for Disease Control says to offer it to everyone else.
She added Yates Public Health is planning on offering walk-in clinics at the office. Minor said private practitioners should get the vaccination within the next two weeks. She explained the department is still working with the schools on the clinics for students.
Minor said attendance at the seasonal clinics has been good. Yates is also expecting another shipment of doses in a couple of weeks.
The Yates seasonal flu clinics are:
• Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Branchport Fire Hall, Route 54A, from 2 to 3 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 30 at the Penn Yan American Legion, Himrod Road, from noon to 3 p.m.
However, the Schuyler and Steuben County Public Health Departments will not have H1N1 clinics. Marcia Kasprzyk, deputy director of Schuyler County Public Health, said her department will be giving out the vaccines by invitation only. She said the focus will be on healthcare workers and emergency medical personnel. Kasprzyk said letters to parents will go out this week about the school vaccinations. However, she explained the clinics for students would likely not take place until early November.
Gayle Wechsler, health coordinator for Steuben County Public Health, said they will send the vaccinations to schools and also health care workers first, but not through clinics.
Due to more demand than the supply available, Steuben and Schuyler County Health Departments had to cancel seasonal flu clinics. Kasprzyk said they ordered more doses this year in preparation for that, but that still wasn’t enough. According to Schuyler Public Health, the canceled clinics are:
• Oct. 20 at the Tyrone Fire Department.
• Oct. 24 at the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls.
• Oct. 27 at the Odessa Fire Department.
• Nov. 7 at the Watkins Glen Field House.
• Nov. 11 at the Human Services Complex.
According to Steuben County Public Health, the canceled clinics include:
• Oct. 20 at the Church Street Court in Hornell.
• Oct. 22 at the Spring Meadows Apartments in Bath.
• Oct. 28 at the Lakeview Apartments in Bath.
Kasprzyk said Schuyler has ordered more doses. However, she said she doesn’t know if the county will get more vaccinations.
In Steuben County, clinics were canceled because not enough seasonal flu vaccinations were ordered. Wechsler said the Office for the Aging did the ordering and last year there were not as many people interested in the seasonal flu vaccine. The Steuben County Office for the Aging said it has ordered more doses, though is not sure if they will get them. Wechsler said one option for getting the seasonal flu vaccinations is through drug stores and doctors’ offices.

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