OGDEN -- As the H1N1 vaccine becomes more widely available, health department officials hope residents will continue to be vaccinated.
The Weber-Morgan Health Department began a series of weekly vaccination clinics Tuesday at the Weber County Fairgrounds.
Spokeswoman Lori Buttars said the health department is receiving larger and more steady shipments of vaccine and has started the larger clinics as a way to get residents vaccinated quickly and conveniently.
Health officials expect to administer about 3,000 doses a day.
In Davis County, health department officials are urging people who want an H1N1 vaccination to take advantage of a slowdown in requests for immunization tickets.
Only 2,300 reservation tickets were requested on Monday and Tuesday with 9,000 immunization slots available for a clinic scheduled tonight and Thursday in Layton at the Davis Conference Center.
People in the targeted risk categories for the H1N1 virus can pick up the reservation tickets starting at 10 a.m. today at the conference center. Walk-ins will be accepted both today and Thursday.
The Layton clinics run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In Weber County, this week's clinic has begun to relax the restrictions on who may receive the vaccine, Buttars said. In the past, because of the short supply, only a few specific high-risk target groups were able to be vaccinated.
Beginning next week, anyone can come to Weber-Morgan clinics and get vaccinated, said Director Gary House.
In the beginning, the uncertain supply of H1N1 vaccine was the main problem in planning for clinics, House said.
"Now my primary concern is waning interest in getting the vaccine, which we're already starting to see," House said.
House said hospitalizations and cases of the flu are declining in large part because of public awareness about flu prevention and because people are getting vaccinated.
However, people are becoming more complacent because of the decline, House said, and that could be dangerous because H1N1 is expected to recur in waves.
"We're hoping the target groups will still remember why they were the target groups and still come in," Buttars said.
As of Nov. 18, nearly 17,000 people in the target groups had been vaccinated by the Weber-Morgan Health Department, which is a little more than 7 percent of the population in the two counties, according to statistics collected by the Utah Immunization Program.
Statewide, about 8 percent of the population has been vaccinated.
In Weber and Morgan, nearly 14 percent of the 6- to 23-month-old group was vaccinated and almost 18 percent of 24- to 59-month-old children received the vaccine.
The health department has received its last shipment of seasonal flu vaccine and has only about 200 doses left, but many doctors and pharmacies also have the seasonal vaccine available.
Cases of both seasonal and H1N1 flu have been decreasing during the last month, Buttars said.