Big Turnout for Northwest ISD Flu Clinic

A flu clinic at the Northwest Independent School District almost came to a quick end when a massive crowd created a shortage of vaccine.

On Tuesday morning the school district offered a flu vaccination clinic to parents, students and staff members in the district, but many were shocked to find hundreds in line when the doors opened at their Justin administration building.

"We never expected this quick of a turnout in just this little bit of time. We had people in cars at 7:30 this morning," said Kitty Poehler, director of personnel services for the NISD.

Initially the district had 200 flu shots and 40 flu mists available to give out at a cost of $20 for adults and $10 for kids. However that supply did not last long in the large crowd.

About a half-hour into the clinic they were out of the flu mist and the supply of shots was quickly dwindling as well.

Workers began to turn down people coming through the doors, but were able to call them back when the group providing the clinic was able to come up with about 140 extra shots. Later in the day they'd even add on an additional hundred to carry the clinic all the way until their 4:30 p.m. close time.

The district said they set up the clinic in response to all of the recent news around the flu including dozens of deaths in North Texas related to the H1N1 strain.

While NISD hasn't seen any significant problems they said they didn't want to see any start, so the clinic was offered to help folks get proactive in protecting themselves.

Most of the crowd Tuesday was made up of parents with children in the NISD who were informed about the clinic Monday night.

"We thought we were going to be here early. We ended up showing up a little bit late," said Annie McEuin shocked by the size of the crowd.

Many said that they'd wait out the crowd though as the clinic was one of few places they could actually find the shot.

The Denton County Health Department reports that even their supply is starting to get low as they continue to give out free shots in both Denton and Lewisville.

Public Information Officer Sarah McKinney said they only have about 420 doses left for the general population with more than 300 remaining for the senior (65-year-old plus) crowd. However the department was notified late Tuesday afternoon that the state would be sending an additional 100 doses for children who qualify for the Texas Vaccines for Children program.

Many parents at the NISD clinic said they weren't willing to chance it any longer; hoping the shot would be available elsewhere.

"It's been really bad and there's been some deaths so we wanted to come and protect the kids," said McEuin. "As long as they have the supplies we're going to wait."

"There's just a lot of sickness going around so I decided I might as well take this opportunity. A lot of places are out of them," said mother of two, Sandy Ness.

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