No more public H1N1 clinics planned

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Public H1N1 immunization clinics will not be reconvened anytime soon in Cumberland County.

With more than half of the population having already been immunized, public health officials here are urging those who haven't received a vaccination to contact their family doctor or call public health to make an appointment.

"Prior to Christmas the decision was made to suspend the clinics so an assessment could be done of the situation. At this time it's just not feasible to hold more public clinics," Cumberland Health Authority spokesperson Ann Keddy said Tuesday.

More than 15,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been distributed around the county through vaccination clinics, doctors' offices, public health and organizations including the VON.

Attendance at the final clinics in December waned to the point public health felt it would be better to organize smaller clinics as the need arose.

It's unlikely larger public immunization clinics will be held again, but Keddy said public health could change its mind should the need arise.

"Public health officials and nurses were going full out for a couple of months administering the vaccine. Because of that a number of other things have fallen behind. Now they have to play catch-up," Keddy said.

The second wave of the H1N1 virus hit Cumberland County hard in November and December with illness-related absences from local schools well above the 10 per cent threshold that requires reporting to public health.

Public health officials are expecting a third wave sometime early this year, but believe the impact has been minimized by the number of people who have been vaccinated. At the same time, they are continuing to urge people to take precautions as simple as washing their hands frequently, coughing or sneezing into their sleeves and staying home if sick.

Anyone wishing to get vaccinated should call their physician or public health at 667-3319, or toll-free at 1-800-767-3319.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland Health Authority

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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