Health News

Sarasota to offer H1N1 vaccinations to public

SARASOTA — H1N1 flu vaccinations will be offered to the general public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sarasota County Health Department, 2200 Ringling Blvd., and Woodmere Community Park and Recreation Center, 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice.

Chuck Henry, incident commander for the Sarasota County Health Department H1N1 response, said in a press release that the at-risk population has been vaccinated and the health department is now ready to provide the vaccine to the general population.

In Manatee County, the decision on general public vaccinations will be made after officials with the Manatee County Health Department speak with state health officials today, according to Dr. Jennifer Bencie, administrator of the county health department. “It will be based on the state recommendations,” Bencie said.

John C. Burns, public health preparedness planner for Manatee County Health Department, said the at-risk program was still in progress.

There are about three more week left before all of the students in the county will receive their vaccinations, and primary healthcare providers are providing pregnant women and health care workers with vaccine shots.

To find out when a Manatee County school was scheduled to distribute the vaccine check the health department Web site at

The Sarasota County Health Department press release said that as many people as possible will be immunized at the two clinics Saturday with either the nasal mist, which is preservative free, or an injectable vaccine of inactivated virus.

The H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine is not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine. Each vaccine protects against a different virus. For adequate protection against all known circulating flu viruses, people are advised to get two vaccinations: one for seasonal flu and one for H1N1 flu.

Similar to the seasonal influenza vaccine, most healthy adults who receive the H1N1 vaccine will have protection in eight to 10 days.

People who receive the seasonal FluMist nasal spray vaccine must wait at least 28 days before receiving the H1N1 FluMist nasal spray vaccine.

Blank consent forms will be available at each location for those who do not download the vaccine consent form in advance. Those who do not have access to a computer can visit the health kiosks at any Sarasota County library.

The Sarasota County Call Center has a TDD line, (941) 861-1833, available for those who are hearing impaired.

For more details about Saturday’s vaccine clinics, including a fact sheet about the vaccine and instructions about vaccine consent forms, call (941) 861-2800, or visit the Sarasota County Health Department’s Web site,