ADPH back to the drawing board

The lackluster turnout may have been right on the money.  That's the takeaway from the Alabama Department of Public Health considering the events leading up to Wednesday's H1N1 clinic.

"One of the reasons we didn't wait is because we wanted to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible.  On the other hand, we didn't want to advertise until we knew we had the vaccine." says State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson.

State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson says when you couple short-term awareness with the specific priority list of patients eligible for the vaccine, its easier to see why fewer folks visited the clinics.

"The target population isn't showing, we may need to broaden the access and availabilty traditionally back to the recommended groups is certainly a possiblity."

And, there's the vaccination fear factor.  Williamson says simply the idea of a new novelty vaccination could partially be the culprit.

"If the virus had come around two months earlier, it would have been included as a component in the seasonal flu vaccine."

But the fear of a new vaccine isn't holding back the lines at vaccination clinics across the country.  Williamson says that's because many cities are experiencing a spike in cases, something Alabama has already dealt with.

"We are now, at worst, in a plateau in the epidemic, which could decrease some of the anxiety."