Last fall, everyone wanted the H1N1 vaccine, and few could get it. Now, health departments have plenty of the vaccine and few people wanting it.
Health officials worry the lack of interest is limiting the best tool to fight the disease.
“Interest is waning off, but we really don’t know if there’s going to be a third wave or not,” Van Wert County Health Department Emergency Response Coordinator Barb Hoffman said. “It’s still around.”
“Flu is unpredictable, Allen County Director of Health Education Kathy Luhn said. “Vaccine is the best way to protect against it.”
With people not coming to the shots, Van Wert County and other regional health departments are taking the shots to the people.
Van Wert County has offered shots at high school basketball games and at other places around the county.
“What we’ve been doing since January is going to a lot of local businesses,” Hoffman said. “Going to long-term care facilities. We’ve also been trying to get out to the local villages.”
Luhn said the Allen County Health Department will go to any group of 20 or more people and provide vaccinations at no charge. She said her department also has been contacting employers to offer clinics. About 12 percent of the Allen County population has been vaccinated, she said. In Van Wert County, that number is around 30 percent, Hoffman said.
All area health departments continue to offer vaccinations at their offices through the week.