Eastern Convocation Center hosts H1N1 clinic

At Premiere Immediate Medical Care in Oaks, Pennsylvania, Fred Gajewski, 38, from Birdsboro, gets his nasal swine flu vaccine, October 13, 2009. Gajewski is a health care worker at Oaks Radiology.

Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center will hold a mass H1N1 vaccination from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Last thursday’s H1N1 vaccination clinic at Snow Health Center was cancelled and those at high risk for infection will be directed to the Convocation Center. All previously-planned school-based clinics will be cancelled next week and will be replaced with the at the Convocation Center.

Washtenaw County Public Health is estimated to administer 4,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine at the Convocation Center, but that number may change.

“We’re getting week by week information,” said Susan Cerniglia, Public Information Officer for Washtenaw County Public Health.

Cerniglia said they don’t know how much vaccine they may receive each week, and orders for more doses are placed as soon as numbers are available.

The clinic at the Convocation Center will be open for most of the day, but anyone attending should be prepared to wait outside for extended periods of time. It is suggested by Washtenaw County Public Health that people should wear warm clothing and bring their own food and water.

“We will be screening people on our criteria,” said Cerniglia. “If we’re in a situation where we can’t vaccinate everyone, we only help people in high priority groups.”

Individuals who may receive vaccines at Thursday’s clinic include pregnant women, children ages 6 months to 4 years, children and adolescents from 5 to 18 years with a medical condition which makes them susceptible to the flu and medical personnel. If an individual does not meet the criteria, they will be turned away.

For the complete list of criteria, go to www.ewashtenaw.org/flu.

EMU and Washtenaw County have been working on a plan to use the Convocation Center in case of emergency for several months now. Cerniglia said Washtenaw County Public Health has worked in the past with both EMU and the Convocation Center, and said this is the best option for a large scale clinic.

Washtenaw County Public Health expects more readily available vaccines by the end of November, which should allow the general public to get the vaccine if they wish.

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