HALTOM CITY, TX—Southlake school teacher, Lori Durbois skipped class to stand in line with more than a thousand people in Haltom City, to try and get a H1N1 flu shot for her three children. "My school said this is a necessity so they were supportive of my being here", says Durbois.
Tarrant County held it's first mass vaccination clinic at a Birdville ISD's W.G. Coliseum. Hours before the doors opened, long lines of people snaked around the facility and well into a nearby parking lot to receive one of the 1600 injectible doses. Signs made it clear the event was only for pregnant women and children with certain health problems.
Kathleen Jenkins was first in line. She pitched a tent and camped out overnight, so her 16-year old son could get vaccinated. "He is high risk with asthma and he had an attack last night, so it is serious", said Jenkins.
Volunteers turned some families away who do did not meet the criteria. Bud Findley drove from Johnson County with his wife who he says has health issues, but she didn't qualify for the vaccine. "I would disagree that her problems are any different than those women who are pregnant or kids".
Throughout the 8-hour clinic, nurses gave out about 200 shots an hour. Officials say the nasal flu mist can't be given to those who live with someone in a high-risk category. Jayce Daily, who is pregnant was relieved to get the shot because of the risk. "One percent of the population is pregnant, yet six percent of those who have died from swine flu are pregnant", says Daily.
For some the hours of waiting in line were just too much. Some left before they were able to get to the front of the line and receive a vaccination. "What if we wait in line all day and don't get it? I don't think that is the most efficient way", said Jake Deboever, who drove from Southlake to get the shot for his pregnant wife.
Tarrant County officials say they are expecting to hold more mass clinics as soon as more flu shots arrive. They aren't sure when they might receive more vaccine.