H1N1 clinic to open Wednesday to some

WICHITA — The Sedgwick County Health Department clinic will begin giving H1N1 vaccinations to health care workers and pregnant women this week.

The H1N1 clinic, which will be at the Wichita Mall, 4031 E. Harry, will be open from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, until the vaccine supply is depleted.

Hours of operation and the individuals who will be seen will be determined weekly, as the department knows how much vaccine it will receive.

"I know it can be very frustrating to wait for your turn to be vaccinated," Health Department Director Claudia Blackburn said in a release. "Please know the groups selected to receive vaccine first have been identified because they are at greatest risk for acquiring the illness and having negative outcomes or complications. We need to protect them first."

The county is receiving $2.1 million in federal grant money, filtered through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, to help respond to H1N1.

The county received about $705,000 earlier this month and will be getting an additional $1.4 million.

On Wednesday, commissioners will consider adding 20 part-time temporary positions to the health department during the H1N1 outbreak. Temporary workers will support command staff, staff the call center, perform general administrative duties, staff the supply distribution center and work on vaccine distribution and delivery.

The county estimates that the total cost of the temporary jobs will be $196,000. Salaries will be paid by the grant.