Nurses needed for vaccinations

October 14, 2009 9:15:50 PM PDT
Seasonal flu shot clinics are running smoothly, but it's the H1N1 vaccine in limited supply and in high demand that has Wake County health officials trying to strike a balance.Officials say when a new batch of the H1N1 vaccine arrives later this week; they'll need more nurses to help give the shots.

A letter has already been sent out to registered nurses in the area asking them to donate their time from now until spring.

"Because if we don't keep it balanced we can't render the services that our community needs," Wake Health Director Sue Lynn Ledford said.

Officials say it takes about 54 people, including 17 nurses, to operate just one vaccine clinic.

The county has turned to contract agencies and it's asked some part-timers to work full-time, but it still needs willing nurses to work for free.

"Because we know we just cannot assume the full burden for this cost," Ledford said. "We're hoping to be ready to administer the shots as soon as we have the capacity to deliver them."

In the meantime, the operators inside human services say they can't keep up with the number of concerned callers.

On average it receives about 3,600 calls a day. In recent weeks, it's run out of usable phone lines and voicemail space.

Instead of calling the hotline, health officials are urging people to visit www.wakegov.com/readywake for the latest H1N1 information.

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