Virginia county simulates bioterror attack

Volunteers and health officials in Fairfax County, Va., set up a vaccination clinic on Saturday to practice for possible pandemics or terror attacks after developing new procedures following last year's H1N1 scare.

The exercise simulated a mid-scale response requiring 10 vaccination centers to be set up in schools throughout the county, WTOP reports. The drill started with logistical work on Friday to get materials for setup distributed to Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, Va., and Glasgow Middle School in Alexandria, Va.

"This is the type of plan that we would hopefully not have to break out unless there was a vaccine shortage or a new strain of influenza that required us to respond in this way," Marc Barbieri, the emergency management coordinator for the Fairfax County Health Department, said, according to WTOP.

There were minor hiccups at both sites such as timing issues, volunteers requiring some time to figure out the walkie-talkies, responsibilities that had to be reshuffled and misplaced forms. The Health Department said that's what practice is for and that, overall, everything went as planned.

"Our concern is... are we able to set up multiple sites, get the materials out, get the staff out, and get them ready to open in a timely fashion?" Barbieri said, according to WTOP. "We use these types of clinics for all sorts of emergency responses. If we have to do an anthrax response, god forbid, or any other terrorism incident, it's the same kind of model just some different variabilities. So, the more we test it the better we get at it."

Barbieri said that plans will be altered to reflect any new lessons learned from the exercise.