Updated: Thursday, 12 Nov 2009, 7:23 AM EST
Published : Thursday, 12 Nov 2009, 7:23 AM EST
WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Federal health officials now estimate that 4,000 or more Americans have likely died from the H1N1 virus.
That's four times what they previously thought.
The new estimate includes deaths caused by complications related to the swine flu.
In the meantime, hundreds of doses of the vaccine were available in Erie County Wednesday, which many of us didn't even know about.
Frantic parents have been searching for the H1N1 vaccine, but the doctors who have it are few and far between.
That's why a Clarence mother of three was skeptical when she heard the vaccine was available.
"I ran into a friend at the grocery store who just had their kids vaccinated," said Sandy Forrestel.
They got it at Passport Health.
"Never heard of it, didn't know where it was," said Forrestel.
Passport Health on Harris Hill Road provides medical care for travelers, but they were able to get the vaccine just by ordering it from the state, going through the same process as doctors offices.
"So we could put in our order on Tuesday starting at 8:30, so we got on the phone and redial, redial, redial, until we could place our order," said Passport Health Executive Director Joanna Daeschner.
They were able to receive a few hundred doses, and held a clinic
for all at-risk candidates.
Daeschner said, "Pregnant women, caregivers of infants under six months, children six months through 24 years of age."
Little Thomas certainly fits into that category, and he's also considered high risk because he has asthma.
Around 400 vaccines were administered Wednesday, people simply walked in the door and paid $20, high risk patients only.
"We take people at their word and do a history, the nurse will sit and do a history," said Daeschner.
Sandy was just glad that she heard about the clinic.
"I was going from nervous to basically paranoid," said Forrestel. "I feel a lot better, I feel like a large weight has been lifted off my shoulders."
Passport Health will be holding another clinic on Friday at Health System Services in Niagara Falls. It'll be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and they'll expect to vaccinate about 800 people.
You can show up if you fit in the high risk category.
They ask that people not show up early to stand in line, since they'll be given a number when they get there anyway, they'll give out the vaccine until it's gone.