|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - September 2009
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Swine flu immunizations to become available in October
Polk County Enterprise - September 2009
LIVINGSTON – As the kids head back to school, fear is growing about a major outbreak of the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is nearing completion of an innoculation but quantities will be limited and will be directed to those most at risk. The State of Texas will receive only about 4 million doses in the first round. Of that, Polk County is expected to get about 15,000 doses according to Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Shine. The innoculations for the Swine Flu are different from a standard flu shot in that it must be taken in two doses, 30 days apart. “Being that students are a targeted group and most vulnerable, clinics and local schools will begin innoculating all students in early November,” Polk County Public Information Officer Jeanette Montgomery said. “A second round of shots will be given in early December. We hope to have everyone in-noculated by the Christmas holidays.” Representatives from the county’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), including the County Health Officer Dr. Luna, Shine and representatives from Memorial Medical Center- Livingston. “The immunizations will not be available until mid-October,” Montgomery said. We will begin the first round of shots in early November. They will be given on a voluntary basis with a fee. The amount of the fee will be determined by family income.” There has been only one verified case of Swine Flu in Polk County. In early June a student was found to have the disease, but he has since recovered. During week 33 (August 16-22, 2009), influenza activity remained stable or continued to decline in most areas of the U.S. However, activity appears to be increasing in the Southeast, according to the CDC website. A total of 8,843 hospitalizations and 556 deaths associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been reported to CDC an increase from 7,983 hospitalizations and 522 deaths from the prior week.