Battling the H1N1 virus in Madison County

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For the first time Friday, the Madison County Health Department made H1N1 vaccine available to certain segments of the general public. All of their available supply is the spray inhalant type.

People of all ages were vaccinated there Friday but those specifically targeted included healthy children 2 to 4, parents of children under 6 months of age and day care workers.

Kellie Smith showed up hoping her young son would cooperate. She told 27 NEWSFIRST, "He doesn't like shots, and I'm not sure he's going to like something up his nose either, but we're going to try it and see how it goes."

Health care worker Sandy Longnecker knows lots of people who have tried the vaccine and had no complaints about it. She says, "I feel like I need to do it because I've already heard of a lot of cases, and people at work have had it so I don't want it."

Jim Rousey, Director of the Madison County Health Department, had worried that the rain might keep some people away. He was relieved to see a line of folks waiting when the H1N1 vaccine clinic opened. "We're experiencing our share of H1N1 here. It's been pretty widespread, and Berea Community School had to be closed for most of the week. I want people to know the rain won't hurt them, the vaccine won't hurt them, and it'll provide the protection that's needed."

As if any further proof were needed as to just how widespread the virus is in Madison County, Superintendent of Schools Tommy Floyd directed the principals of all schools in the district to postpone any indoor extracurricular events that bring large crowds of adults and children together in close quarters. However, that doesn't necessarily mean all sporting events.

Erin Stewart, the district's Community Education Director, explains, "We're asking principals to use their judgement there. Soccer and football and those types of events are still all right because they're outside. Right now we don't have a lot of indoor events going on. They'll come after our school vaccination clinics which will be in early to mid November. We're just doing everything possible to keep the virus from spreading among our students."

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