Commission discusses upcoming flu vaccine clinics

The Marion County Commission learned flu vaccines to be given at scheduled clinics this month were delayed at its Oct. 28 regular meeting.

Diedre Serene, the Marion County Health Department director, said that typically the vaccine is in high demand, but this year the vaccine manufacturers weren’t able to guarantee arrival times.

“This threw a monkey wrench into the schedule,” she said, “and despite placing the order to Sanofi Pasteur back in January.”

Diedre explained to commissioners the shortfall of the vaccine was not just an exclusive problem to the county’s health department either.

“Larger entities,” she said, “are also out of vaccine at this point in time. The health department will start making appointments again next week, if the final vaccine shipment arrives as scheduled Oct. 30.”

Regarding the flu clinics, Diedre reported to the commission that 10 were conducted throughout the county, and all were open to the public.

In addition, she said, clinics were given to county employees, Tampa State Bank, Prairieland, the Special Education Cooperative and residents of Marion Assisted Living.

“October is always a hectic time around the health department,” she said, “but this year has been especially intense.”

The other clinics remaining are at Hillsboro Middle/High School, Marion Senior Center and at the Marion County Health Fair where limited free doses of Fluzone are being offered to uninsured adults.

Both Commission chairman Kent Becker and Commissioner Dianne Novak also agreed to volunteer at the annual health fair from 8-11 a.m. at the Sports and Aquatic Center in Marion.

Diedre also talked about the health department’s agreement with both Tabor and Bethel colleges allowing nursing students to be placed with them for community health clinical experiences.

“This gives nursing students a realistic picture of public health nursing,” she said. “And, while it’s not typical nursing, the work focuses more on population health than individual health and deals with budgets, governmental aspects (local and state) and community.”

In other business, the commissioners:

◼ awarded Epps Service, Elbing, the area fuel bid at $11,350. The other bid received was from Cooperative Grain and Supply, Hillsboro, at $11,670.

◼ accepted Duane Bair’s resignation from the Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission. In his letter of resignation, Bair said he believed his knowledge, skill and experience was not required on the planning and zoning board. The resignation was effective Monday.

◼ learned from Brice Goebel, county engineer, about possibly talking with Enel Green Power about getting an extension on the timeframe for the letter of credit filed by the project. The bond is currently for $2 million and will expire Dec. 31. Goebel recommended to the commission it require them to renew it for an extended period of time.

◼ reviewed information presented by Jeannine Bateman, county treasurer, as part of her quarterly report to the commission.