MINERVA - Essex County recently received 600 doses of H1N1 vaccine and initiated two of the first shot clinics in Newcomb and Minerva Central Schools.
The clinics took place on Thursday, Oct. 22 and were only open to enrolled students who had obtained written permission from their parents.
Ninety-two of 136 students were given the vaccine in Minerva
"Hopefully as more vaccine is available, we can do a community clinic," said Minerva principal, Heidi Kelly.
Minerva Central School health director, T.J. Feiden was notified that the vaccine was available less than a week before the clinic was scheduled.
"Everything happened so fast with a very short turn-around time, but the clinic itself went very smoothly," she said.
Minerva has reported very few cases of flu-like symptoms and started a Preparedness Committee in mid September to discuss prevention measures as the season approached. The committee established new cleaning practices, developed an awareness plan for students and determined an action plan if cases of H1N1 are detected.
"We are well prepared and we have been very fortunate so far," said Kelly.
Clinics will be scheduled in other schools as more H1N1 vaccine arrives and the public will be notified when that information is available.
County public health officials say it has been difficult to plan clinics because even they receive limited information regarding how much vaccine will be available and when the shipments will arrive.
"It's been frustrating," said Kathy Dagget, director of preventive services for Essex County Public Health. "We've been trying to make plans, but we don't have any concrete information."