Jim Gervase hopes the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Gervase, director of pharmacy at Corry Memorial Hospital, made his case Thursday for the state Department of Health to send the hospital’s requested 776 doses of H1N1 vaccine to Corry as soon as possible.

The vaccine began arriving at hospitals in Erie on Monday, but, so far, Corry Memorial Hospital is still waiting.

“I e-mailed the state and talked to the health department over the phone asking why we have not received our shipment,” Gervase said. “I made the case that we need it as much as any other hospital in the area.”

Gervase said he hopes the vaccine arrives early next week. And the sooner, the better, he said.

The Erie County Health Department has reported 475 confirmed cases of Type A influenza in Erie County during October. Most of those cases are believed to be swine flu.

“Corry hospital has a considerable amount of patients who have flulike symptoms. If it’s Type A, we’re just assuming it’s the swine flu, Gervase said. “Ninety percent of Type A cases are swine flu and we treat them appropriately.”

The hospital has established a priority list to determine which employees would be first in line to roll up their sleeves and get a shot in the arm once the vaccine arrives.

“If only 50 doses arrive, we will give the vaccine to our emergency room nurses and floor nurses first and go from there,” Gervase said. “We have nurses right now who are caring for patients with flulike symptoms. If they get the flu and are out of work for days, who’s going to take care of our patients?”

If the hospital receives its full order of 776 doses all at once, every member of the hospital staff and any patient with flulike symptoms would be vaccinated, Gervase said.

See the Journal's Friday, October 23rd edition for full story.

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