Rabies and H1N1 Vaccine Day
On March 27, the Peninsula Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) or PenMRC of Virginia hosted a “Love Your Pets the Way That They Love You, and Get Your H1N1 Shot Too!” event at a local community center in collaboration with the Peninsula Health Center (PHC), James City county administrator, and the Grove Community Church. This was the first time the MRC unit ever combined a rabies and H1N1 clinic.
Six PenMRC volunteers and five PHC staff offered free rabies shots for canines and felines, free H1N1 shots for people, as well as free pet and disaster preparedness information. The event was initiated by Barbara Smith, an MRC volunteer and animal lover, who had discussed the need for this vaccination event in Grove Community with the James City county administrator. Once the approval for the event was granted, two MRC volunteers canvassed the area, spoke to community residents, and left flyers in doors to publicize the event.
The clinic started at ten in the morning, and enthusiastic pet owners arrived early. By the end at 2 PM that day, 122 pets, including 33 cats and 89 dogs, received the rabies vaccine, and 18 people received the H1N1 vaccine. The event had a huge impact on the health of the animals—78 percent of the cats and 76 percent of the dogs present at the clinic received a rabies vaccine for the very first time.
“I was pleased with the teamwork around this event, as well as with the team spirit and collaborative attitudes,” says Teresa Blakeslee, PenMRC coordinator. The event was a great success all around. Blakeslee also credits MRC H1N1 assistant, Ashlend Moise-James, for helping to organize details of the event. The clinic received much praise and a positive response from the public and volunteers. Plans to have similar clinics in the future are under way.