Hospital vaccinates more than 450 preschoolers
Martha's Vineyard Hospital mounted a major effort Saturday morning to vaccinate preschool age children against H1N1 flu.
Tim Walsh, hospital CEO, said that the clinic went very smoothly. He said the line began forming at 7 am, but once hospital staff members, who were assisted by Island EMTs, got the line moving it went quickly.
"Carol Bardwell (chief nurse executive) and David Caron (pharmacy director) did a superb job of pulling the clinic together," Mr. Walsh told The Times in a telephone call. "I don't think anyone had to wait too long."
The hospital received 500 doses of vaccine. Mr. Walsh said that about 450 children received vaccinations. Because the vaccine must be used once it is opened the extra doses were used to vaccinate EMTs and school age children.
Young children must receive two doses of vaccine at least 30 days apart. Mr. Walsh said a second clinic would be scheduled sometime after Thanksgiving, pending the availability of vaccine.
Last Tuesday, the hospital learned it would receive 500 injectable doses within two to five business days and made plans to distribute the vaccine to one of the identified high-risk groups as soon as possible.
The hospital scheduled the Saturday clinic for pre-school age children between six months and five years, knowing the vaccine might not arrive by Friday. When it arrived on Thursday, it was a relief to hospital officials.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is responsible for distributing H1N1 flu vaccine statewide.