Long lines at CHS for county’s 1st mass H1N1 clinic

       Coronado High School was the site of the first H1N1 (swine flu) mass-vaccination clinic in El Paso County Nov. 11, with a total of 2,147 being treated in the school gymnasium over a six-hour span.

Part of the line waiting for H1N1 vaccinations can be seen along the Coronado walkway past the main building (at left) Nov. 10. The line continued around to the right and into the gymnasium (out of view), where the shots were given. A total of 2,147 were vaccinated.
Rioux Jordan photo

       When the clinic began at 10 a.m., a line of as many as 1,500 people - some of whom had been there since 5:15 a.m. - was waiting, according to Kandi Buckland, executive director of the County Health Department.
       The clinic was provided free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis to “high risk” individuals (defined as pregnant women, people who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months old, health care and emergency medical services personnel, people 6 months to 24 years of age, and people 25 to 64 with medical conditions such as asthma, cancers or heart conditions).
       The school was available for the clinic because Nov. 11 was a holiday (Veterans Day).
       By afternoon, the lines had shortened considerably. However, Buckland said she understood why people came early. “It's a big unknown when there's a limited amount of vaccine,” she explained. “You don't know when it will run out. There's an awareness that people have been turned away in different places.”
       Bucklin said her department had been prepared for a turnout of as many as 3,000 at Coronado. She said the remaining supply will be available for use Friday, Nov. 13 at 8:30 a.m. at New Life Church, 11025 Voyager Parkway.
       The H1N1 flu vaccine is being supplied by the federal government in response to what has been termed a “pandemic,” a Health Department press release states.

Westside Pioneer/press release