Public Health Office to administer 2,000 doses of swine flu vaccine

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Public Health Office plans to administer 2,000 free doses of the swine flu vaccine Thursday.

Gayla Jacquess, nurse manager at the office, said the vaccine is part of an allotment the Centers for Disease Control gives each state.

The state disperses the vaccine to counties.

The vaccines are given to four priority groups recommended by the CDC.

The vaccine will be provided to children ages six months to 5 years old, anyone age 6 through 64 with a chronic disease, pregnant women and parents of infants less than 6 months.

Jacquess said the CDC disperses the vaccine evenly to the states as it is manufactured.

Jacquess said vaccine the office has received were used to vaccinate health office staff, health care providers, first responders and some in the priority groups.

“No one is not at risk but those in the priority groups are at a higher risk for getting H1N1,” Jacquess said.

The disbursement is the first set up in Curry County, according to Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos.

“We’re doing it this way because this is the best way to reach as many as we can in a short amount of time,” he said.

De Los Santos said the plan is a better solution than sending the vaccine to numerous doctor’s offices in town.

“Because of the limited number of vaccines and they are for specific priority groups, I wouldn’t be surprised that we end up having to do it again,” De Los Santos said. “In the future, we may change the times to accommodate other groups.”

De Los Santos said the event will be staffed by volunteers, the Clovis Public Health Office and the Region 4 office of the New Mexico Department of Health.