H1N1 vaccine clinics for medically fragile children

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The Rhode Island State Health Department began holding H1N1 vaccination clinics for medically fragile children, who are defined as children with severe neurological illnesses or other severe chronic, underlying medical conditions, beginning in November 2009. Medically fragile children are at higher risk for severe complications from H1N1 influenza.

Two rounds of vaccination for children with special needs were conducted. The first round started in 16 specialty schools, which were previously identified with the cooperation of the Rhode Island Department of Education. All these schools serve children with special needs. Seven hundred and fifty students were vaccinated in three days. Any of these students who were younger than 10 when they received their first dose got a second dose in January, 2010.

In addition, several high-risk medical clinics were identified and vaccine was supplied to those clinics. Most of the children seen in the high-risk medical clinics attend public school and would have been vaccinated at the H1N1 clinic scheduled at their school. The school-based clinics were randomly scheduled by a computer program, and in some cases, children who were under the care of a high-risk medical expert would have had to wait until December to be vaccinated at their school's clinic. The Department of Health supplied the H1N1 vaccine to the providers at the high-risk medical clinics and, in turn, the providers vaccinated their own patients. A total of seven hundred and six children were vaccinated at high-risk medical clinics. Providers at the clinics also provided second doses to their patients.

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