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Testing the county's emergency mass vaccination plan

Around 1,000 people received influenza vaccines.

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 6:08 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - In 2009, Olmsted County Public Health had to put their mass vaccination plan to the test when H1N1 made its way across the nation.

On Thursday, Public Health and their local and regional partners tested out their plan to give staff the opportunity to rehearse their roles if there ever was another emergency contagion that required a mass vaccination or medication.

"It's important for us to prepare for this because we dont know if at any point in time we will have an infectious disease outbreak that will require us to actually provide some type of vaccination or some type of medication," explains Olmsted County Public Health's emergency preparedness coordinator Amy Evans, who directed the exercise. "It's easier to go through a mass vaccination clinic when there's a time of emergency than... people going through their primary care provider. It takes a lot more time to schedule appointments and distribute that."

County and city employees and their families were administered the flu shot. Community Services social worker Tom Olson received his shot today, and has participated in the exercise previously. "I think it helps to understand that this is what you have to do and it's to keep the community healthier and safe because it could happen."

The goal was to get 1,000 people vaccinated in about two hours, with the hope that they would be able to vaccinate 1,200 people in about one hour in an emergency situation. Set up began Wednesday night and doors opened at 10 AM.

The mass vaccination plan was last tested in 2012.

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