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Thousands flock to H1N1 vaccine clinics

October 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A packed stadium is the perfect place for a potential outbreak of the H1N1 virus. With President Obama's declaration experts say health officials now have the ability to take extraordinary steps to try to slow down the spread of the disease.

"A lot of it has to do with what they call social distancing, which is trying to do things which keep people from spreading germs amongst themselves," Homeland Security expert, Hal Kempfer explained.

With concern over swine flu growing people are turning out by the hundreds to get vaccinated.

"We have very young kids. My oldest daughter is seven, my middle son is five, my youngest is 21 months, and my wife is seven months pregnant," Lon Mureta said while waiting in line to be vaccinated. "We felt like this was a must do for us."

At a drive-thru clinic in Redondo Beach the response for vaccination was overwhelming. Workers administered vaccines to about 300 cars per hour and all 3,000 doses available were issued. Some people even waited up to six hours to receive the vaccination.

"There was such big regional demand for the H1N1," said Lisa Santora, with the Beach Cities Health District. "There are people from Santa Barbara to San Diego trying to find this first point of dispensing clinic to receive the H1N1 vaccination."

About a dozen other clinics were taking place throughout Los Angeles County on Saturday and the demand for vaccinations well out numbered the supply available.

Those most at risk are prime patients and are being asked to get the vaccination.

"At first I wasn't going to do the shot," Cleveland Harrell said. "Me and my wife went to talk to her doctor and they said for pregnant women they need to have the shot."

Officials expect big crowds throughout the week as people look to get H1N1 swine flu vaccination.


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