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Swine flu vaccine has arrived
by Kenda Nelson
Nov 12, 2009 | 1014 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
‘I thoroughly researched it and I’m standing by the vaccine and highly recommend it.’ — Dr. Stefan Walker
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The first batch of H1N1 flu vaccine has arrived at the Rural Health Clinic in Refugio. The anti-viral shot for H1N1 flu, formerly called swine flu, has been riddled with bad information and misconceptions, said Dr. Stefan Walker, county health official.

A slow sign-up for vaccinations may be the result of fear from erroneous information.

“Originally, 400 people signed up for the H1N1 shot and then a lot of misinformation began to spread about the vaccine,” Walker said.

Among the misconceptions is a fear that the vaccine has not been tested properly, so the doctor did some homework.

“I thoroughly researched it and I’m standing by the vaccine and highly recommend it,” Walker said. “There are plenty of reasons to believe you could have a bad outcome if you get H1N1. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”

The doctor said that he wants people to have all the facts before they make a decision.

During the last flu season, outbreaks were reported in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and parts of California. The county was not hard-hit, despite the movement of people from the Valley through Refugio.

“We only had two seriously ill people hospitalized,” Walker said. “I’m proud we had no deaths, given our close proximity to the Valley. But it’s important that people take precautions before this season gets well underway, especially since the vaccine is available.”

Walker said Larry Stricklin, owner of Village Pharmacy, and Moore Pharmacy in Sinton stepped up and agreed to be a national stockpiler.

The application for the H1N1 flu shot is on the county’s web page and can be printed and brought or faxed to the Rural Health Clinic. Residents will be called and asked to come in to receive their shot within 48 hours.

“You don’t have to have an appointment or be an established patient,” he said. “You just show up and you will be given the shot.”

The fee for the inoculation is $10
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