County Health Dept Plans To Expand H1N1 Guidelines

November 21, 2009 11:18:04 PM PST
The California department of Public Health released a county by county breakdown of the H1N1 vaccine distribution. As of Monday, the state has received more than five-million doses of the vaccine. Here in the Valley: Fresno county has received 125,459 doses. That's enough to cover 13% of the county population.

Merced county received more than 41,000 which is enough to vaccinate a little more than 15% of the population.

And in Tulare county, there's enough vaccine to cover almost 15% of the population.

But so far, the public flu clinics have targeted only high risk groups. H1N1 flu clinics have targeted only high risk groups across the Valley.

The thought of ice cream put 6-year old Rebekah Rudd's mind at ease while she received the H1N1 flu shot. "At first I felt like crying?And this one I thought it was going to hurt but it didn't," she said.

Rebekah's three brothers and sister received their shot too. Her mother who is pregnant with her 6th child received her shot the other day. Rebekah's father just happens to be a pediatrician.

Dr. Kenny Rudd, "There's a lot of fear that's over hyped. But at the same time there are very real risks. And obviously with us, with a newborn that's going to be in the house we're all in it to get it."

Saturday morning Fresno County health officials targeted pregnant women who are at a high risk for picking up the H1N1 virus, however no one was turned away. After the 6-hour clinic nearly 3,000 people received a shot.

"We have plenty of doses to handle this clinic today and we are expecting a shipment mid-December," said health coordinator Rose Mary Garrone.

Garrone said clinics should open to everyone in mid-December.

Since May, 18 people have died of H1N1 here in Fresno county. Health reports indicate that cases are leveling off. However health officials said that's no reason not to get your shot.

Garrone: "If it is infact peaking, we're in that first wave, there would be another wave coming. So we really recommend people come out and get vaccinated."

Dr. Rudd joked, "Who wants to go again?"

At the end of the day Rebekah's father said everyone learned the importance of vaccination and earned their ice cream.


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