April 15, 2002
NURSING SHORTAGE COULD AFFECT APPOINTMENT
TIMESAT IMMUNIZATION CLINIC
Charlotte, NC – The Mecklenburg County Health Department is urging parents to make plans for updating their children’s vaccination records or risk being unable to make an appointment with the Department’s immunization clinic.
“We’re asking parents not to wait until the last minute to get their children’s shots,” says Beverley Rochester, immunizations supervisor for the Mecklenburg County Health Department. “If they wait until right before school starts they may not be able to get in.”
The immunization clinic has had at least one job vacancy since November and will soon have another to fill. A nursing shortage has made these positions difficult to fill, and hiring temporary LPN’s or RN’s can be expensive. The shortage of staff could force the immunization clinic to reduce the number of patient appointments it can handle on a daily basis.
Clinic records indicate that 56% of all Mecklenburg County children ages 0 – 2 get their childhood vaccinations from the Health Department. Last year, that equaled nearly 12,000 visits, with the average visit totaling three vaccinations per child.
Childhood immunizations are free, and the Health Department tries to make getting them as convenient as possible through efforts like last weekend’s “Big Shot Saturday” and other off-site clinics at health and wellness fairs. Immunization clinic nurses will be at this weekend’s “Fighting Back” Health Fair from 10:00am – 4:00pm at the Health Department’s northwest campus on 2845 Beatties Ford Road.
For more information about the Health Department's clinical services or to see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's childhood immunization schedule in English or Spanish, check out our Web site at
http://www.meckhealth.org or click on the following link: