Thousands of H1N1 vaccines arrive in East Texas

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The H1N1 vaccine is arriving by the thousands. East Texas hospitals vaccinated hundreds of health care officials Wednesday morning. And, pediatricians are finally administering injectable vaccines to children.

They trickled in throughout the day. In all, hundreds of ETMC health care workers received the H1N1 vaccine.

"If you are exposed to the H1N1 virus, then you have the ability to spread those germs," said James Clements, RN, with ETMC Employee Health. "Whether it be to your family members or to our patients. That is the importance of it is that we don't want our patients in the hospitals to get infected by our employees."

Vaccinating health care workers this week is a Tyler-wide effort. Trinity Mother Frances Hospital received more than 2,000 doses, and they are vaccinating high-risk workers first.

"We want them to be protected first," said Jennifer Stovall, RN, BSN, with Trinity Mother Frances Employee Health. "They are taking care of what CDC deemed as high risk: new born infants, people with immune-compromised disease, oncology patients."

Stovall is in charge of employee health. But, as a mom, she had her five-year-old daughter vaccinated and encourages other parents to do the same.

"They've had a lot of flu incidents at the school and I wanted her to be protected," said Stovall. "She gets the seasonal flu every year and I believe the H1N1 would protect her too."

Most doctors we have talked to have received some form of the flu mist or the injectable vaccines, and they are giving them to the high risk groups. They say they will be getting more shipments in the next few weeks.

"The vaccine is approved down to age four," said Dr. Jennifer Saurette, with ETMC. "The higher risk ends in the mid 20s. So, anybody in that age range that calls and would like the vaccine I am going to try to accommodate them if they are my patient."

This doctors says each vaccine means we're one step closer to throwing out this flu. Doctors say that if you are planning on getting the H1N1 vaccine, call before you go to your doctor's office because there is a limited supply.

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