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Niagara County Department of Health, Niagara County Community College plan emergency exercise

by jmaloni

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Mon, Oct 28th 2013 01:25 pm

On Nov. 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Niagara County Department of Health division of planning and emergency preparedness will conduct a mass point of dispensing and flu vaccination exercise in conjunction with the Niagara County Community College officials and students.

The exercise comprises a two-part drill in which simulated antibiotics will be dispensed using a modified head-of-household model, and a second component whereby real influenza vaccine will be administered. Student, faculty and other designated representatives will pick up simulated antibiotics for entire classrooms and departments.

While fully engaging the college student body and staff, this rendition of the head-of-household dispensing model minimizes disruption of classes and allows for college continuity of operations.

"It is important to test capabilities to cover the entire college in the most expeditious means possible during disasters and infectious disease events before the disaster actually happens," stated Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton. "These exercises require meticulous planning and coordination, as well as the participation of and expertise of all health department divisions."

The Niagara County Department of Health shares a signed memorandum of understanding with NCCC for the college to serve as a mass dispensing site for the federal strategic national stockpile of medications and medical supplies. The MOU designates the college to serve as a community point-of-dispensing site, as well as a mechanism to assure the health and safety of staff and students during disasters that threaten public health.

Niagara County is seeking public involvement in the flu vaccination component of the exercise. Free influenza vaccine provided by the New York State Department of Health is available for individuals ages 19 and older from 1 until 2 p.m., in the second floor cafeteria of the Student Center, Building G. This is an opportunity for uninsured individuals to receive flu vaccine at no cost. People seeking free flu shots must register online at https://apps.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/ and should arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment times.

Call 716-439-7439 with questions regarding flu pre-registration.

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