The line started early in Indy yesterday, as Hoosiers hoped to get the H1N1 vaccine, and Indianapolis health officials surpassed even their own expectations. After announcing the opening of a one day free vaccine clinic in Marion County at Lafayette Square Mall, many Indianapolis people became determined to get the H1N1 vaccine.
The first ones in line outside the clinic on the Circle City’s West side were there as early as 3:00 am. As time passed, the line winded through the Lafayette Square Mall parking lot. They were waiting for a numbered ticket when the doors opened at 8:00 am, to ensure that they would get the H1N1 vaccine.
Fear of catching the H1N1 virus has spread throughout the nation, and Indianapolis is no exception. Everywhere in the United States, citizens are taking extreme measures to get the H1N1 vaccine and to avoid catching the H1N1 virus. Unlike any other flu season the world has seen, this Fall the swine flu virus has spread at a devastating pace. Leaving many at risk people dead.
The free vaccine clinic in Marion County asked that only people who are at risk for catching the H1N1 flu attend. At risk individuals include anyone between the ages of 6 months to 24 years old, pregnant women, child caregivers, health-care workers or people with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk for flu-related complications. With limited supplies, Indianapolis health officials made the call to prioritize the early rounds of the H1N1 vaccine. They were happy to see that the city of Indianapolis listened.
“I have a newborn so I’m trying to make sure I stay healthy,” said Steve Elkin, who lined up at 4:30 am to get the vaccine.
“I have type 2 diabetes,” said Brenda Driver who got there at 4:20 am.
“The obvious is because I’m pregnant but the most important reason is not just for this child is that my other children get it,” said Courtney Gurley, Indianapolis.
“I hear people are getting it all the time especially in the emergency rooms and I’m just nervous. Schools; people not washing their hands,” said Susan Sparacino, Indianapolis. “My son has asthma and he’s 12. I think everybody is at risk.”
After hours of waiting, these hopeful Hoosiers walked inside to another line where Indianapolis health officials were passing out medical history forms. But that did not slow any Indianapolis health workers from doing their job. Many attendees to the free vaccination clinic received their H1N1 virus vaccine with in 1o or 15 minutes of walking through the front door. Everyone who came got the H1N1 vaccine.
These Indianapolis health workers impressed everyone with their efficiency that day. One pregnant woman commended the Indianapolis health workers for their hard work, “I’m really really impressed with how organized it was. I can’t believe we’re already walking out,” she said.
Those that attended the free vaccination clinic say it was worth it to wait. Now they can have peace of mind as the H1N1 virus sweeps over the nation. The H1N1 vaccine that was left over from Thursday’s free clinic, will go to other Indianapolis metro area clinics being held this weekend.
If you are sick, Indianapolis health officials as well as many Indianapolis businesses and Indianapolis schools have asked that you stay home. If you show up with symptoms to the free vaccine clinics, Indianapolis health officials say you will not be given the vaccine.
Additional free vaccination clinics will be on Saturday, October 24th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Indianapolis HealthNet’s six community health centers. H1N1 vaccines will be given on a first come first serve basis, and are only for Hoosiers who fall into the at risk categories.
- Barrington Health Center, 3401 East Raymond St.
- Martindale-Brightwood Health and Dental Center, 2855 N. Keystone Ave.
- HealthNet Pediatric and Adolescent Care Center, 1633 North Capitol Ave.
- People’s Health and Dental Center, 2340 E. 10th St.
- Southeast Dental and Health Center, 901 Shelby St.
- Southwest Health Center 2202 W. Morris St.