BOISE -- Central District Health is going to rethink its strategy when it comes to distribution of the Swine Flu vaccine. The demand for the vaccine, before it came out, was huge. When it was first available in Boise, people camped out to get it.
Saturday was a different story. There was no camping out and very little demand from those eligible for the shot.
"It just isn't being taken up by the public the way we expected," said Dave Fotsch with Central District Health.
Four weeks ago, Southwest District Health hosted the first Swine Flu clinic in the Treasure Valley. People turned out in droves. Thousands waited in line for up to four hours to get vaccinated.
When the vaccine became available in Ada County, people camped out overnight. Thousands more lined up to get the vaccination. Now, three weeks after long lines, Central District Health saw lines that were virtually nonexistent.
"It was pretty light today," Fotsch said. "We had only about 2,200 people come through, which is much less than what we expected. We had 5,300 doses of vaccine here, and getting rid of less than half of that."
The number of people getting vaccinated by Central District Health has declined each week and that even as the priority groups expanded. People 65 and older still don't fit into a priority group despite that being one of the only demographics to show consistent interest.
"At some point, perhaps sooner rather than later, we are going to open it up and say 'everybody come in'. We're not quite there yet," Fotsch said.
That would be welcomed by students.
"There's been an interest at Boise High to come and get the shot," said Charlie Fereday, a student at Boise High.
One of the reasons is the number of students missing school with flu-like symptoms despite the extra health education.
"There's been a lot of stuff, you know, there's been teachers telling us at school to wash our hands, and little signs about covering your cough," said Fereday.
Still, flu-like symptoms overtook thousands of students across southern Idaho.
"Kids have definitely been waiting to get this," Fereday said of the vaccine.
And that might end up being sooner rather than later.
"We're going to be meeting on Monday, some time in the afternoon and discussing our strategies, one of the things that we probably will move forward with is expanding our school-based vaccination programs, because that worked really well," Fotsch said.
While vaccination numbers in Central District Health are on the decline, Southwest District Health continues to vaccinate more than 3,000 people each week.
Central District Health says it is starting a program this week in the Mountain Home and Kuna School Districts. Siblings of students that are too young to go to school will be able to receive vaccinations at the schools where they have a sibling enrolled.
We also have information on vaccine clinics coming up in Adams, Canyon and Gem counties. A clinic will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Adams County Health Center in Council.
The clinic at the old Sportsman's Warehouse in Nampa will be open again from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. And in Emmett, a clinic will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Carberry Intermediate School.