Health Department Waiting for Federal H1N1 Funds
Agency on track to receive $110,000 for vaccinations.
The Summit Health Department is supposed to receive $110,000 in federal funds to cover the costs of an H1N1 flu vaccination program this fall.
Health Officer Megan Avallone said the federal government has not released the funds yet and she is not sure when the monies will become available to her department. She explained that while she has been informed of the amount, it won't be confirmed until the check is in hand.
Avallone said the funds will cover the entire program including the cost of the vaccine, advertising materials and paying for health workers to administer the vaccines at clinics. The H1N1 clinics will cover the entire eight-town region the department services, including Summit, Westfield, Fanwood, Springfield, Mountainside, Garwood, New Providence and Roselle Park.
Avallone said her agency is in a holding pattern until the funds are released. Until the money is in hand, she cannot release a schedule for H1N1 clinics because she will not know how many she can hold.
"It puts us in an awkward position since it comes from the federal government," she said.
She said the last reports said the money and vaccine should be in the hands of local health officials later this fall, but an exact date has not been communicated to local health agencies. To handle the holding pattern, Avallone has been putting plans into place for the H1N1 clinics, including obtaining venues to distribute the vaccine and having her vaccine team on stand-by for when she gets the official word from the federal government.
"Right now we are planning to round up the troops." Avallone said.