Hundreds of people lined up outside Whitley County Middle School today, waiting to receive the H1N1 vaccine. The Whitley County Health Department was prepared to treat up to one thousand people at the free clinic.
The line kept growing before for the doors opened at 6:00, but people had no problem waiting. Donnie Trent, who was waiting in line, says, "I figured when I got here there would already be four or five hundred people here, but I'm just fortunate to be here and be able to get one."
Peggy Lennon, who also waited in line, says, "It's great to be able to come and have a free shot. You know, if you have to stand in line for and hour, two hours, it's well worth it."
Whitley County Health Department officials say they are fortunate to finally be able to offer vaccinations to the public. Director of Public Health Gail Timperio says, "We actually received a level of vaccine where we thought it might be an opportune time to go ahead and take some of it out to the public."
They provided the regular, injectable shots, the nasal spray, and also preservative-free vaccines for pregnant women and infants. People of all ages came to the clinic, many unsure of what to expect.
Morgan Jordan, who is 11 years old, says, "I was kind of nervous, but then after I've seen so many people, I've seen some people cry, but then after it was over they didn't even know it happened."
Morgan found herself feeling the same way. "After I got my shot," she says, "I was happy. It didn't hurt one bit."
Health officials say the clinic was a success, but they're not finished yet. Timperio says, "We're going to eventually have enough vaccines so that anybody that desires to be vaccinated can be vaccinated." She says healthy people ages 2 to 49 should consider the nasal spray because it is a great alternative to getting the shot.
Officials say 15 deaths in Kentucky are associated with the H1N1 virus. The latest death is a woman in her mid-50s in northern Kentucky.