Crowds turn out for all-categories vaccine
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 19, 2009
11/19/09 at 3:54 AM
For more information about swine flu.
Jack and Bobbie Campbell waited in line for about an hour at Expo Square on Wednesday to get the H1N1 vaccine.
"We don't want to get sick just because we're old," Bobbie Campbell said as the sprawling line moved steadily forward.
Crowds of people turned out for the H1N1 vaccine clinic Wednesday, the second day the shot was available to anyone who wanted it.
The Expo Square crowd during the afternoon included all types of people, particularly healthy people older than 65, who previously were unable to get the vaccine.
"They have been a group that's very vocal," said Tulsa City-County Health Department spokeswoman Melanie Christian. "It broke our hearts to turn those folks away, so we're glad to be able to offer it to everyone, especially older people."
It was a far cry from the light turnout Tuesday, when late notice that the vaccine would be opened up to all age groups and risk categories left attendees with virtually no wait. More than 2,800 doses were administered at that clinic.
"We're thrilled to see this many people, but unfortunately, this many people means a longer wait," Christian said.
By the clinic's close at 8 p.m., 5,296 people had received the vaccine, and people had an average wait of 1
1/2 hours, she said.
The Health Department should know by the end of the week whether it can hold another large-scale vaccination clinic this month. The next one is scheduled for Dec. 3.
Officials continue to offer smaller, regional clinics for pregnant women and young children who need booster shots. They also are going to area schools, Christian said.
Annatine Aaronson also was in line Wednesday, pushing a stroller with her 21-month-old son, Oliver. Meanwhile, Grandma was with the 5-year-old at another clinic for his booster shot.
Aaronson was planning to tell her husband and father-in-law to go to Expo Square, too, so the whole family would be vaccinated.
"I'd rather get a shot than be laid out for seven days," she said.
Oliver is underweight and at high risk for the virus, but Aaronson is glad everyone can get the vaccine now. She wants to avoid the fate of some friends, who had to quarantine parts of their house when a child got H1N1, she said.
Christian said the crowd Wednesday was typical for what the Health Department has seen at its vaccine clinics.
"I think this also shows that demand is very high still for the vaccine," she said.
Tulsa H1N1 vaccine clinics
- Dec 3, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Tulsa Community College West,
7505 W. 41st St.
- Dec 12, 9 a.m. to noon, Oral Roberts University, 7777 S.
Walk-in clinics for pregnant women and children younger
than 10 who need booster shots will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mondays through Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays at
the following locations:
- James O. Goodwin Health Center, 5051 S. 129th East Ave.
- Central Regional Health Center, 315 S. Utica Ave.
- Expo Square Health Center, 4616 E. 15th St.
For more information, call Tulsa County’s swine flu hot
lines at 595-4500 or 582-9355 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday
Source: Tulsa City-County Health Department
Death toll at 27
Since Sept. 1, 890
oklahomans have been
hospitalized with complications
of H1N1 flu,
and 27 have died. Those
numbers are updated by
the state Health Department
every Thursday. For
this week’s update, go to
Shannon Muchmore 581-8378
Emmanuel Aguwa gives an H1N1 vaccine to Trey Smolen, 3, as he is held by his mother, Katie Smolen, during a Tulsa Health Department vaccination clinic Wednesday. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
People wait in line Wednesday outside a Tulsa Health Department H1N1 vaccination clinic at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Exchange Center. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World