During the public participation period of Tuesday’s County Commissioners meeting, Chairman Cary Carrell asked Karen Weaver, administrative director of the Jackson County Health Department, to elaborate on the influenza immunization schedule for Altus. Above, Bridgett Cassady, SPN, with Southwest Technology Center, gives Katherine Suskie a flu shot at today’s seasonal flu immunization clinic held at the Altus Community Center. Hundreds lined up as the clinic opened at 8:30 a.m. today. Shots will be available until 5 p.m. today. Weaver said that vaccine for the H1N1 flu will not be received until next week. Only 35,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine will be sent to the entire state of Oklahoma. Some counties will not receive any H1N1 vaccine. Jackson County, she explained, will receive only about 200 doses of H1N1 vaccine in the first shipment. Those doses will be nasal spray of live vaccine which are intended only for people ages 2 to 49 years, with school-aged chidren the primary recipients. This live vaccine is not for pregnant women, children under 2, people over 50, or people with a chronic illness. The inactivated vaccine, available in shot form, is designed for people in those categories, but will not be available at this time. Weaver also confirmed that H1N1 flu is now widespread in Altus schools.
Altus Times photos by Michael Bush