Friday, January 22, 2010

State Health Department Gives Free Flu Shots, Nasal Spray

First, the good news.

If you are a kid, you won't be getting a flu shot to
immunize yourself against the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.

Kids get a nasal spray, which isn't a much different
experience than the nose drops their mommies give them when
they have a cold.

See, kiddos, that's not so bad is it?

Second, there is still more good news.

So far, about 600 kids have been immunized against H1N1 flu
virus in Bosque County. An equal number will be inoculated
during the remainder of the seven-week program.

But the real story, according to County Emergency Services
Manager Dewey Ratliff, is this.

"I just put out a notice by word of mouth - an e-mail -
asking for volunteers to be here today to help the people
from State Department of Health Services. Just like that,
23 people showed up, put on their volunteer t-shirts and
they're working hard to help get everyone who shows up

More than 50 people were waiting at Clifton Civic Center on
Friday before the doors opened. They were all inoculated
before the 11 a.m. starting time.

That's how much importance people in the community place on
the immunization program.

"We haven't been doing any publicity on the children's
inoculations," Mr. Ratliff said. "They've just been going
to the schools and inoculating them."

There is a follow-up inoculation that will be given to each
child to protect them from the pandemic flu virus that has
attacked people all over the globe, in its northern,
southern, eastern and western hemispheres.

There is no charge for the service, no matter if one is
inoculated at the offices of private health care providers,
or at free public clinics such as the one held in Clifton on
Friday. Private clinics do charge a $10 administration fee.

The vaccine takes about 14 days to become effective, so
health authorities urge people to take their immunization

State epidemiologists have emphasized the very real truth
that when there is no epidemic or pandemic, it's the best
indication available that they have been performing their
professional work as well as it may be performed.

Let's hope they're right.

How dangerous is a flu pandemic?

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 is credited for stopping
World War One dead in its tracks.

Quite simply, there was no one left to fight. They were
either too sick to fight or already dead from the flu.

No one knows for sure, but many authorities have estimated a
total death toll of about 100 million people in that
particular pandemic.

For more information on the flu immunization program or to
report any ill effects, call Texas Department of State
Health Services, Region 7, at 254-778-6744.

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