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Families line up for flu vaccines

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With four children wearing St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School gear and a baby on the way, Melissa Johnson sat in the crowded lobby of the Richmond County Health Department on Tuesday waiting to get the shot against the novel influenza A H1N1 virus.

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Matthew Jones, 6, gets a shot to protect him against novel influenza A H1N1 virus at the Richmond County Health Department. "I'm proud of you," said his mom, Michelle, who also was vaccinated Tuesday. "You did good."  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Matthew Jones, 6, gets a shot to protect him against novel influenza A H1N1 virus at the Richmond County Health Department. "I'm proud of you," said his mom, Michelle, who also was vaccinated Tuesday. "You did good."

"We figured it was healthier to get it done," she said.

The shot distribution in Augusta comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that more than 30 million doses have been produced so far and the agency is hoping for a 10 million increase this week.

The Johnson family was among the 332 people who showed up to get the long-awaited shots in Augusta. Although there is no specific clinic planned today, the health department will give out the remainder of its 1,500 shots on a walk-in basis, Clinical Nursing Director Teresa Catlett said.

Many in line said they had heard concerns about the vaccine, but those concerns were outweighed by the threat of the virus itself.

"I just feel like it's the right thing to do," said Anna Remos, who had 2-year-old Lee in hand and 71/2-month-old Keira Marie in a car seat at her feet as she stood in line.

Michelle Jones was among the earliest in line at 7:20 a.m., more than an hour before the clinic was scheduled to begin. She got the shot before daughter Tianna and son Matthew had to line up.

"It doesn't hurt, baby," she told Matthew, 6. "Come on."

Matthew burst into tears afterward anyway.

"I'm proud of you," his mother told him. "You did good."

Stephanie and Trevor Richter, of Augusta, got the shot because 5-month-old Sebastian, sitting at their feet in a covered carrier, cannot.

"We want a barrier around him," Mr. Richter said.

Those in line reflected the priority group that the health department is targeting with its first 1,500 shots: pregnant women, caregivers of infants younger than 6 months of age, children and young adults ages 6 months to 24 years old, adults ages 25 to 64 with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or asthma, and health care workers.

As of Tuesday, 31.8 million doses against the new virus have been produced, up from 26.6 million Friday, with more expected later this week.

Georgia has been allocated 776,500 doses and has ordered nearly 700,000 doses so far, according to the state Division of Public Health.

South Carolina has been allocated 465,000 and has ordered 334,000, with the remainder to be ordered this week, said Jim Beasley, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden said supply is increasing, but "we know it's not nearly as much as we would have liked."

Even though it caused a tear to slip out of her left eye, 3-year-old Hannah Price sniffed up a nasal vaccine just like her mother, Sara.

"We did it," Hannah said triumphantly.

"We sure did," her mother said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

SHOTS AVAILABLE

IN RICHMOND COUNTY: No specific clinic to give out shots against the novel influenza A H1N1 virus is planned, but the Richmond County Health Department (950 Laney-Walker Blvd.) will administer the vaccine on a walk-in basis today from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m., said Emmitt Larry Walker, a spokesman for the East Central Health District. That likely will continue until all 1,500 are given out.

IN COLUMBIA COUNTY: Three H1N1 flu shot clinics are planned for Columbia County Health Department.

- 5-7 p.m. today at Harlem clinic, 5915 Euchee Creek Drive; (706) 556-3727

- 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Appling clinic, 6420 Pollards Pond Road; (706) 541-1318

- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Evans Government Center Auditorium, Building A, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive

- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Grovetown City Hall, 103 Old Wrightsboro Road

Comments (4) Add comment
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msitua
132
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msitua 11/04/09 - 11:19 am
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You beat me to it, soldout.

You beat me to it, soldout. scary stuff. Wonder if all these people know it contains 25 micrograms of mercury. also that the vaccine has not been properly tested for safety and nobody really knows if it even prevents the flu. The government loves to use scare tactics.

Fiat_Lux
15411
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Fiat_Lux 11/04/09 - 03:27 pm
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Nothing like a few scare

Nothing like a few scare mongers to help things along.

soldout
1280
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soldout 11/04/09 - 05:41 pm
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msitua you are right; folks

msitua you are right; folks are fussing about the lady using the insect bomb because she didn't read the instructions but take a flu shot and have no idea what is in it or how it is made. Here in a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that of the 36 children who died from H1N1 from April to August, six had no chronic health conditions. But all of them had a co-occurring bacterial infection. The most common co-occurring infection that causes flu-related deaths is staphylococcus aureus. A third of the population carries it, most in their nose or on their skin. The flu causes upper respiratory damage, which allows the staph to make its way into the lungs. I don't know of anyone who has read the history of vaccinations that will take one. WHO says the reduction in deaths in the pass 200 hundred is because of better sanitation and only 3% due to our medical system or vaccinations.

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