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750 doses left after Clay County holds first swine flu vaccination clinic

Flu shot clinic

Only half of Clay County's stock of H1N1 FluMist vaccine was used during Fargo-Moorhead area's first public H1N1 vaccination clinic Thursday.

Officials administered 750 of 1,500 available doses of the H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine during Clay County Public Health's clinic at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

About 500 people, mostly children, were waiting in line to be vaccinated when the clinic opened at 5 p.m.

More than 600 children and caregivers were vaccinated during the first hour. Then the crowds tapered off, with no lines for much of the remainder of the clinic, according to Clay County Public Health's Twitter account.

The remaining FluMist doses will be given to Clay County health care providers to distribute among targeted priority groups, which include young children, caregivers for infants and health care and emergency personnel, according to a news release.

The first resident showed up for Thursday's clinic at MSUM's Nemzek Hall at 2:45 p.m.

"I don't think I've ever been No. 1 for anything in my life," joked Kjersten Skatvold, 30, of Moorhead.

Skatvold and her mother, Emily Nerland, showed up early to ensure that Skatvold's two sons, 5-year-old Jacob and 3-year-old Henry, could be vaccinated.

"The number of people that we know who've been sick this year has been concerning," Nerland said. "We need to be a little bit more vigilant, I think, this year."

Clay County has previously held small seasonal flu clinics, but Public Health Director Kathy McKay said Thursday's clinic was much larger than previous ones they've organized, taking weeks of planning.

About 100 volunteers assisted Clay County Public Health and local law enforcement agencies to oversee the clinic.

McKay said after the event that she was pleased with how well it went.

"People were very patient and cooperative," she said in a statement. "There were no issues."

Fargo Cass Public Health officials were surprised that half of the vaccine stock was still available after Thursday's clinic, spokeswoman Theresa Orecchia said.

"With all the phone calls we received prior to the clinic, we thought we would run out before 7 p.m.," Orecchia stated in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, the hundreds of children who were vaccinated had mixed reactions to the sprits of vaccine up their nose.

There were some tears, some smiles and lots of sniffles as families left the hall.

"Shots hurt more, but this just felt weird," said 9-year-old Oliver Borchers-Williams of Moorhead.

His mother, Susanne Williams, said she is relieved her son received the vaccine.

"It's just good to have that sense of security," she said.

A clinic for North Dakota residents is scheduled on Saturday at Fargo North High School.

Children ages 6 months to 9 years old are eligible, and both the FluMist and injectable forms will be available.

Additional vaccination clinics will be scheduled as more doses of H1N1 arrive in the community, McKay said.