I for one am outraged the the public debt would be placed ahead of our children. I dont care how many doses they were alloted. And just how was this a Normal scheduled shipment. Big Brother taking care of its own first again.I agree with health care , first responders, even pregnant women should be first in line But Not Government employees that compute money transactions for the banks.
Public Debt gets H1N1 vaccine early
Employees received shots a week before health department
By JODY MURPHY email@example.com
POSTED: October 28, 2009 Save | Print | Email | Read comments | Post a comment Email: "Public Debt gets H1N1 vaccine early"
*To: <--TO Email REQUIRED!
*From: <--FROM Email REQUIRED!
PARKERSBURG - Some employees at the Bureau of Public Debt received H1N1 vaccinations more than a week before they were offered to residents in the high-risk target groups by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.
Lateefah Thompson, a public affairs specialist for Public Debt, said the bureau received a "small amount of doses" of the swine flu vaccine as part of a normal shipment from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Thompson said the doses were distributed Oct. 15 to employees who were in the target group category.
Public Debt received its shipment a week before the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department had hundreds standing in line on Friday to receive a limited number of vaccinations. Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital got the first batches of the vaccines for employees around Oct. 7.
Because of the shortage of the vaccine, Wood County Schools last week announced students 10 years or older would have to wait to receive vaccinations.
Dr. Kelly Fluharty, a family practice physician at Mid-Ohio Valley Medical Group in Vienna, was among those who stood in the cold rain last week to have her child vaccinated. She was upset Public Debt employees received the vaccines.
"It is wrong," Fluharty said. "The health department barely had enough to cover their high-risk population. Wood County schools ran out of the vaccine and was unable to immunize all the kids that went to its clinic.
"It is concerning to me why the government is deciding and rationing out the vaccines and what criteria it is using," Fluharty said.
Thompson said the vaccines were "mainly for pregnant women."
The target group also included:
•Persons who live with or provide care for infants age six months (such as parents, siblings and day-care providers).
•Persons age 25-64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.
•Health-care and emergency medical services personnel.
•Persons age 6 months-24 years.
"Our health unit put in an order request to the Department of Health and Human Services and we received the doses on the 15th (of October)," Thompson said in an e-mail. She directed questions on specific information pertaining to the distribution of the vaccine to health and human services.
Calls to the federal agency were referred to Gretchen Michaels, who is out of town, and to the Centers for Disease Control. Owen Grant, CDC spokesman, said they do not document county-level distribution.
Dick Wittberg, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, took a diplomatic stance on the Public Debt vaccinations.
"I don't necessarily always agree with decisions that get made, but that doesn't make me right or them wrong," he said. "In my mind, the people that take precedent are the very young and pregnant."
Tammy Crookshanks, a family nurse practitioner and clinical manager at Mid-Ohio Valley Medical Group, said she was frustrated with the situation.
"We are frustrated as health-care providers that we can't offer it to our patients or employees," she said.
Crookshanks said they are seeing swine flu patients on a daily basis.
"We are telling patients to check with the health department. At this point, we don't know if we will receive the vaccinations at all in the near future," she said.
Fluharty said to her knowledge none of the local practitioners in the area have received vials of the H1N1 vaccine.
Only a handful of employees at Mid-Ohio Valley Medical have been vaccinated for H1N1 and several employees are or have been sick with the swine flu.
"I think what they did was inappropriate and it concerns me if this is the way things are going to be from now on if the government is getting into health care," she said.http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/con