October 30, 2009
Flu clinic turnout surprisingly low
Goffstown Organizers Expected High Demand For Vaccinations

GOFFSTOWN - Demand for seasonal flu vaccines remains high, but organizers of a flu clinic Saturday in Goffstown found themselves asking, "Where is everybody?"

Inside the gym at Goffstown High School, Eliza Browne and her two kids had no problem getting their free flu shots.

Browne said her husband called from inside the clinic, "He called and said it was pretty quiet and would be a good time to come down."

Police officers, firefighters and nurses from nearby towns filled the school. The clinic had 750 vaccines available and was prepared to control long lines.

Yellow tape was posted around the clinic out of anticipation of a high number of people, but the hallway was completely empty when News 9 visited.

Nearly an hour into the clinic, nurses treated about 150 patients -- a huge contrast to a flu clinic in Nashua last weekend, where nurses depleted hundreds of doses in the first hour as some people waited for 45 minutes in line for a vaccine.

Instead of controlling crowds, organizers in Goffstown asked why so few people showed up -- especially when seasonal flu shots are in high demand.

"Word got out that several clinics were closed because of a lack of vaccinations. So, they may've assumed that this one was closing also," Goffstown Fire Chief Richard O'Brien said.

The flu clinic also served as a training session for first responders who may need to deal with large numbers of H1N1 patients if the disease continues to spread. After completing the exercise, the people working at the clinic said they felt ready to deal with large crowds -- even if the number of people who showed up Saturday fell short of their expectations.


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