A vaccination clinic for the H1N1 virus was held Thursday evening at Hodgenville Elementary School.
HES Principal Penny Cecil said 133 shots or mists were provided to enrolled students as well as preschoolers.
Eight-year-old Taylor Newton was first in line for a vaccination. She listened, wide-eyed, as Joyce Walsh, R.N. explained the procedure. She didn’t flinch when the needle entered her arm. Shots are nothing new to Taylor, according to her mother Lisa Newton. She receives allergy injections twice a week and had the first course of H1N1 vaccine in October.
“She got the first one at (the doctor’s office),” said Lisa. “We’ve been waiting since Oct. 21 for the second one. No one has had them.”
According to the Lincoln Trail Health Department, the agency in charge of the clinic, children who are 9 years old or younger need to receive two doses of influenza vaccine, spaced four weeks apart, to be fully protected. The doses can be two shots, two doses of the nasal mist, or one of each.
The HES clinic was the second held in the county for school-age children. The first was at Abraham Lincoln Elementary when about 140 students received vaccinations, according to Director of Pupil Personnel Mike Brown.
School Administration Manager Kathy Ross said that although the clinic was scheduled for 5 p.m., parents and children started lining up at 4:20 p.m.
“We started early ... and we knocked them out fast,” she said. “Our procedure we had established worked well. There was a line until about 6 p.m. and then it slowed down dramatically. I think, overall, mist and shots, they vaccinated about 143, which is near 30 percent. The health department said on average they were doing between 30 and 40 percent in the schools.”
Ross said a second clinic will be held after Christmas for students needing a second shot.
Another clinic was held Monday evening for LaRue County Middle School students. The vaccine will be offered to high school students Wednesday evening, according to a Lincoln Trail District news release.
Nationwide, 22 million cases of H1N1 flu have been reported, with 100,000 patients hospitalized and about 4,000 deaths attributed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The flu has been widespread in Kentucky since September.
H1N1 symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu – weakness, fever and body aches.
There have been four confirmed cases of swine flu in LaRue County this fall according to the Web site www.healthalerts.ky.gov/.