San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 12th, 2009
Hays County to distribute flu vaccine mist as part of emergency drill

SUBMITTED REPORT

The Hays County Personal Health Department will be fine-tuning its emergency response capabilities Oct. 23 during a drill designed to test its ability to deliver vaccinations to large numbers of drive-through recipients.

Residents who meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to use this opportunity to get their intranasal seasonal flu mist (not injections/shots) vaccine in the convenience of their cars.

“We will be testing our ability to deliver vaccines to large numbers of residents because in certain emergency situations it might be necessary to administer a vaccine or medication to many people in a short time frame,” said Priscilla Hargraves, Hays County Personal Health department director. “One way to do that is to have people pull up in their vehicles and remain there while the vaccine is administered. This ties in nicely with our desire to have as many people as possible immunized against seasonal flu.”

Several city and county agencies will also assist, and the Texas Department of State Health Services is providing up to 600 doses of the flu mist.

Because the flu mist, which contains a weakened but live vaccine, is approved for only certain segments of the population, persons wanting to participate must be between two and 49 years old and not be pregnant. In addition, participants must not have longterm health problems such as asthma; heart, lung, kidney or liver disease; metabolic diseases such as diabetes; anemia or other blood disorders; certain muscle or nerve disorders such as seizures or cerebral palsy; weakened immune system due to cancer or HIV/AIDS; a history of allergic reactions to eggs of previous flu vaccines; or have developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

The flu mist will be available 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the Old Bowie School in the 300 block of Staples Road, San Marcos (enter from Broadway Street off of Highway 123) and is free to eligible participants. The drill is designed to be a drive-through exercise and there is no provision for walk-up vaccinations.

— FROM HAYS COUNTY/LAUREEN CHERNOW

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