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Tickets given on Monday for time blocks on Tuesday -- goal to reduce wait times

(RELEASED October 29, 2009) - - The Utah County Health Department (UCHD) will implement a plan to give reservation tickets for individuals to receive the H1N1 vaccine. Individuals in the Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) priority groups will be able to get a ticket on Monday, November 2nd starting at 8 a.m. These tickets will be for time periods on Tuesday, where they will be able to receive the vaccine.

"Our goal is to have people wait an hour or less," said Lance Madigan, UCHD public information officer. "We hope to be able to distribute the tickets very quickly, thereby setting people up for return times the next day when they won't have to wait in the long lines we had before."

Madigan said that last Tuesday's immunization clinic had an overwhelming response. "We started out the day 2,000 people behind, and never really caught up," he said. "We knew we had a problem, but couldn't really do anything last week. We know this plan will be a little less inconvenient since people will have to come down to the health department twice, but we think if they aren't in line five hours it will be much more convenient. This is especially true if we have bad weather such as last week."

Starting Monday morning at 8 a.m., individuals will be able to pick up a reservation ticket that will assign them to a time block on Tuesday. They will have to identify the CDC priority group to which they belong, and will also be given the paper work they will need for the next day. The CDC priority groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • Health care or emergency medical personnel with patient contact
  • Children age 6 months to young adults 24 years of age
  • Persons 64 years of age and under with chronic medical conditions associated with higher risk of medical problems from influenza

Adults will be able to get up to six tickets for their immediate family members.

"People will then return during the times listed on their tickets on Tuesday," said Madigan. "We will only be giving vaccine to people with tickets and only during the specific time listed on their tickets. We know how fast we can vaccinate people, so this way we not only know how many people will be coming at a given time, but we also know that we will have enough vaccine for everyone that comes."

There is no cost for the vaccine, but the UCHD is asking individuals to bring their insurance information with them to help offset administration fees. Residents are encouraged to check the UCHD web site (www.UtahCountyHealth.org), call 801-851-2222 or 2-1-1 for vaccine availability updates.

For those who aren't able to get the vaccine, the UCHD suggests the following preventive measures:

  • Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid those who are sick -- if you are sick, stay home until 24 hours after fever has gone away without fever-reducing medicine
  • Cough into an elbow or sleeve
  • Get plenty of rest and eat properly.

Due to demand and supply challenges, the UCHD continues to encourage individuals seeking immunization to check this web site, call the UCHD Health Information Line at 801-851-2222, or call United Way 2-1-1 for up-to-date availability. "United Way operates the 2-1-1 information phone line in Utah County, and have been great to help us answer the public's questions regarding H1N1," said Madigan.

The Utah County Health Department seeks to promote health, and prevent avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community, and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. For details about UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth.org or call 801-851-7000. Or you can follow the UCHD at Twitter or be a fan on FaceBook.