10/26/04 — Line forms early for flu vaccine

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Line forms early for flu vaccine

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 26, 2004 2:08 PM

When Health Director James Roosen arrived to work at 7:30 this morning, he estimated 400 people were standing in line for the flu vaccine.

The Health Department an-nounced last week there would be a free flu clinic today from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The state had reported that 70,000 of the vaccines would be distributed to health departments across North Carolina, with the Wayne County Health Department getting about 1,400 to be used for patients most at risk.

"We have got a limited number and are trying to get the doses that we have to people that are considered high risk," Roosen said, particularly the elderly and those whose immune systems are weak.

He said his employees worked hard over the past week to identify people in the community who most needed the vaccine, particularly invalids and quadriplegics who could not leave their homes.

"We tried to distribute to those folks as much as we can," he said. He said the vaccines also had to be divided to include those in hospitals and long-term care.

Roosen said his staff was devoting the entire day to giving the flu vaccines and would determine where to draw the line so patients would not have to wait in line unnecessarily.

"We'll try to estimate where the last dose will occur and notify those in line," he said this morning.

Roosen said the Health Department expects to receive more of the vaccine, but not all that is needed.

"So it's up to us to make sure these doses get to the people who are high-risk and need the vaccine," he said. "We're trying to allocate doses as best we can."