Parents line up for H1-N1 shots for their kids -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Parents line up for H1-N1 shots for their kids

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some parents even kept their kids home from school Wednesday to get the vaccine.

It's the first time the injectable H1-N1 vaccine has been available in large quantities in south Georgia and a lot of parents were anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get their children immunized.

They started to turn parents away, telling them to come back tomorrow because the wait was just so long, they didn't want people sitting in these waiting rooms for hours. The line started well before this clinic opened and hasn't stopped.

The crowd in both waiting rooms at the Dougherty County Health Department spilled out into the hallway. Frustrated parents who waited more than two and a half hours to protect their kids paced anxiously while most kids took the wait in stride.

"I did expect a wait, but I guess it's just the flow of things," Nekola Ward said.

For many parents it was the first chance to get their immune compromised children, protection from a virus that's been targeting the age group nationwide.

Stephanie Taylor has Cerebral Palsy and everything for her when she gets sick goes respiratory so as we know the flu is a respiratory virus and she does not need to get it.

The turnout surprised health officials who, until now, have experienced a low turn out for the flu mist .

"I was overwhelmed, I did not expect the crowd to be as large as it was, but we've had a big turn out," said Suzette Profit LPN, of the Dougherty County Health Department.

For most parents the wait was worth the protection it offers their kids.

"With her regular flu vaccine at her pediatricians office they ran out very quickly so being here the first day the shot form was available was very important," Brittany Davis said.

And many got the vaccine themselves to protect their household. "Actually the flu shot, the regular flu shot hurt worse," said Taylor.

Health officials say each person immunized is another layer of protection for the community.

Health officials say right now they expect to have vaccine for tomorrow's clinic which will last until the vaccine runs out or 7:30, which ever comes first.

Health officials are encouraging those who are immune compromised who haven't been able to get the vaccine until now, not to wait.

Health Departments in Early, Mitchell, and Grady Counties also saw long lines today like Dougherty County. The H1-N-1 vaccine is available for high risk groups that include pregnant women, health care and emergency medical personnel.

      • Who's eligible: pregnant women, health care workers and emergency personnel with direct patient contact, people who care for children under 6 months, anyone six months to 24 years old and anyone 25 to 64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at the risk for flu related complications.

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