More than 10,000 Receive Seasonal Flu Vaccine in Statewide Mass Vaccination Exercise

DENVER (November 17, 2007) – On Saturday, Nov. 17, local public health departments and local public health nursing services dispensed more than 10,000 seasonal flu vaccines as part of a statewide emergency preparedness exercise. There were 29 points of dispensing opened around the state on Saturday morning to dispense free vaccine to the public. 

The exercise was designed by the Emergency Preparedness and Response Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to test the state's ability to quickly immunize large numbers of people as might be done in a real public health emergency.

"We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with our local public health partners in this exercise and also want to thank those Coloradans who turned out for the flu vaccine," said Chief State Medical Officer Ned Calonge.  "Exercises like the mass vaccination effort today are critical to the state in preparing for public health emergencies that may occur in the future."

Chris Lindley, director of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Division, said, "Local public health, as well as local emergency management, stepped up again and demonstrated that Colorado continues to plan, train and exercise its response plan to ensure Colorado remains the safest place to live, work and play."

The three-day exercise began Thursday as vaccines were delivered to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for distribution to the various vaccination sites.  The Colorado National Guard transported vaccine on Friday to two sites in southeastern and southwestern Colorado.  Other vaccine was distributed via ground transportation by the state health department.

The exercise was funded by federal grant dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.