High turnout for the first H1N1 flu clinics in Dane County - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

High turnout for the first H1N1 flu clinics in Dane County


MADISON (WKOW) -- Student by student, dose by dose, Madison's Chavez Elementary was one of the first seven schools in Dane County to begin offering free H1N1 vaccinations on Tuesday.

Mother Becky Christy looked on as her daughter Caleigh received the nasal version.

"She did have her regular flu shot at the doctor, but the H1N1 is so limited in terms of accessibility that I chose to have it done here," said Christy.

"I never got it before, so I was really nervous," said the young first grader.

By the time the clinics end in early December, all 180 or so public and private schools in Dane County will have hosted one.  There are nearly 80,000 students in the county.  Health officials made arrangements under the assumption that about 75 percent of those students would seek an H1N1 vaccination.

Along the medical professionals who crowded into these clinics were volunteer parents like Cory Dobson.

"For the most part, they've been good," Dobson said of the young kids as he helped guide some through the process of receiving a nasal vaccination.  "They're scared coming in, thinking they're going to get the shot.  When they find out it's just a little tickle in the nose, they're like, oh, okay, that's not too bad."

"We're trying to use the nasal spray for the younger children, just because it's easier, and some are frightened of needles," said Dr. Thomas Schlenker, who heads the Public Health Department of Madison-Dane County.

At the clinic at Chavez, though, the injectable version of the vaccine still ran low.  More supplies had to be delivered.  There should be enough in town to meet demand for this first week's worth of scheduled clinics.

"For the next few days, yes, but we really need to get renewed supplies every week, and that's our expectation," said Schlenker.

A lack of supply caused these clinics to be postponed by a day.  The schools that were slated for clinics on Monday this week have been rescheduled to early December.  About six to eight schools in the county will host the flu clinics virtually every school day between now and then.

PHMDC spokesperson Jeff Golden said it would be unlikely that his department will have final numbers on how many students received the H1N1 vaccine by the end of the day Tuesday.

Email Carl Agnelly at cagnelly@wkowtv.com

Follow Carl Agnelly on Twitter.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The first round of H1N1 flu clinics at Dane County schools kicked off Tuesday morning at seven area schools.

Officials from the Madison-Dane County public health department planned enough supplies for roughly 75 percent of all students.  There are roughly 80,000 students in 180 public and private schools in Dane County.

At Madison's Chavez Elementary School, parent Becky Christy is also a volunteer organizer.  After the clinic's first hour, she said it appeared participation rates for the free nasal or injectable vaccinations were running closer to 90-percent.

At one point Tuesday morning, Chavez ran low on the injectable form.  PHMDC Director Dr. Thomas Schlenker said more supplies can be shifted from clinic to clinic as needed, but that the county will need to receive regular weekly shipments to keep the clinics as scheduled through late November.

Late shipments of supplies postponed the planned start of the massive county-wide clinics by one day.

Carl Agnelly was at Chavez Elementary School Tuesday morning.  He'll have reaction from parents and students later on wkowtv.com and on 27 News beginning at 5 p.m.

Email Carl Agnelly at cagnelly@wkowtv.com

Follow Carl Agnelly on Twitter.

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