H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccines Arrive in the Valley

October 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The first live vaccines arrived in local doctor's offices and health clinics on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, many offices expect parents to be lining up for the nasal spray vaccines.The H1N1 flu vaccine began arriving in the valley today, but the first shipments are quite small.

The Fresno County Health Department got their first 200 doses of the nasal spray. They hope to start giving them Wednesday morning to mainly children.

The Stuart family headed out Tuesday evening to get their son, Oliver a seasonal flu shot. But this year they have decided to skip the H1N1 vaccination.

"I'm not going to get the H1N1 just because I feel there's not a lot of research on it yet, it's so new, he's under three so I've just read a lot of stuff."

The Fresno County Health Department expects parents to start lining up with their kids to get the nasal spray vaccine. Tuesday the main clinic downtown got its first shipment, its part of the 8900 doses expected to be disbursed to the entire county. Many will be sent directly to pediatricians and clinics that cater to children.

Health Officials expect next year will be less chaotic and involve only one vaccine instead of two.

David Luchini, Fresno County Health Dept. said: "This virus came in so late, it was too late to put it into the seasonal influenza so probably by next year they will be able to put all strains into one vaccine."

Family Practice Doctor Ketsana Vilaysane is already seeing an increase of children coming in with flu symptoms and the traditional flu season doesn't even begin until next month.

"Fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches"

He's telling parents of healthy kids, between toddler ages up to 9 years old to get protection against this winter's flu strains.

Dr. Ketsana Vilaysane, Family Practice Physician said: "If it is available, and they are able to get both vaccines, and if they are able to get both the seasonal flu vaccines, and the H1N1 vaccine, I recommend both. Especially if they are in that target group."

Injectable H1N1 vaccines are expected to start arriving in the Central Valley next week and pregnant women are at the top of the list to receive the first doses.

If you are not in a high risk group, Health Officials hope to have enough vaccines to accommodate all other age groups in early November, just before the peak of flu season.

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