During Saturday Drive At Expo
Hundreds of cars were lined up in the Imperial Valley Expo’s parking lot during the first vaccination drive for the H1N1 Swine Flu virus on Saturday, December 19, 2009.
The Imperial County Department of Health decided to open access to the vaccine to the general public after targeting other groups, like people under 24 years of age and pregnant women.
In addition to the shot, which contained inactive flu virus cells., the nasal spray was also available for those who did not want an injection. The spray contained activated, but mutated H1N1 that could not reproduce and would not move from the nasal cavity.
The vaccine’s availability to the general public was announced on the same day that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recalled 800,000 doses of vaccine due to the lack of potency.
The process for Saturday’s drive thru day consisted of signing a release form, then waiting in the car to drive up to the nurse’s stations, where the vaccine would be delivered. A precautionary waiting period was required for those who took the nasal spray vaccine.
According to the county, 8000 children have been vaccinated for H1N1 at school & community clinics and over 25,000 have been vaccinated by the county and private physicians.
The current strain of “swine flu” that the World Health Organization is believed to have originated in Veracruz, Mexico.
Currently, over 1.3 million confirmed cases of swine flu have been discovered around the world. Of those cases, over twelve thousand people around the world have died due to the virus.
In the United States, over 103,000 people have been diagnosed with the swine flu, with over 9000 cases in California. There have been over 2000 deaths since the outbreak of the disease.