Utica, NY (WIBX) - A mass flu vaccination clinic and emergency preparedness training for St. Elizabeth Medical Center employees and other emergency and healthcare workers, and first responders is taking place today.

Linda KoKoszki, Director of Infection Prevention at the Medical Center said it's an opportunity to prepare for a possible threat posed by pandemic influenza. She said, "In the case of a disaster, if there were a pandemic, St. Elizabeth Medical Center is fully ready to activate a point of dispensing clinic. The public should know that we place high priority on getting our healthcare workers vaccinated to protect them when they come to our hospital." The training on various emergency situations and the vaccination of medical workers is a requirement set by the New York State Department of Health.

Kokoszki said last year St. Elizabeth vaccinated 1200 people and this year they hope to reach an even higher number. The State Health Department is not mandating that healthcare workers get the H1N1 vaccine this year. Area police and other emergency workers were also invited to participate.