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Many get H1N1 shot

County health department officials said Wednesday’s H1N1 “swine” flu clinic went smoothly.

Terry Kyzar, environmental supervisor for the Covington County Health Department, said the clinic received enough supply for 400 doses of the vaccine. Because of the short supply, the clinic was limited only to those in “high-risk” priority groups — young children, pregnant women, caregivers of babies and health care workers.

“People have been respectful of the priority group rule,” Kyzar said. “We even had a few people come in and read the sign listing the priority groups, and when they realized they didn’t fit in that category, they headed back out. It’s gone smoothly today.”

Most of those who took the vaccination Wednesday were health care workers or young children.

Terri Maurer, a nurse from Andalusia, took the shot along with her 8-year-old son, Cameron.

“Not only am I a nurse, but I’ve also got a 6-week-old girl back home,” she said. “(Cameron and I) are getting the shot not only for ourselves, but also to protect her from getting sick.”

Kyzar said although Wednesday’s clinic was advertised as starting at 9 a.m., there were actually workers ready to go at 7:30 a.m. when the doors opened. He said the clinic continued until all the vaccinations were gone, and as many as four nurses were available to administer the vaccine.

“This is really a group effort,” he said. “All of us work for the same health department, so we’re all asked to pitch in for big clinics like this. It’s all about trying to serve the public as best we can.”

Kyzar said there would be clinics in the future as more vaccine becomes available. In addition, school-based vaccination clinics are scheduled for late November; those clinics will be for children ages 10 or younger. Clinics for older children are planned in December or January.

“All of these clinics are voluntary,” he said. “The schools will have consent forms that will need to be signed by the parents in order for a child to get the vaccine. The state has already laid the groundwork for the school clinics, and now we’re just waiting to get enough supply of the vaccine.”