H1N1 Vaccine Arrives

The first doses of the swine flu vaccine have arrived in Meridian, but they are in the form of nasal spray instead of a shot.

But the nasal spray is only being given to individuals who are the most at risk for contracting the virus.

Health care officials say this is because the nasal spray is a live vaccine which requires people to stay out of contact with others for at least 48 hours after getting vaccinated. The shot version will be available soon.

"Rush is going to follow the orders from the CDC and the Mississippi Department of Health," said Rush Hospital marketing director Laura Davis.

Rush and Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center and Riley Hospital in Meridian will handle the H1N1 vaccine.

"We're going to be getting different allotments each week. We'll get several thousand each week throughout the season," said Andrea Laird, director for Occupational Health and Infection Control at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center.

With 195 million doses of the vaccine being produced nationally, local officials say there should be an ample amount of the vaccine available for the public. However, in case there is a major outbreak, officials at the hospitals in Meridian are developing plans on how to handle the situation and a possible shortage of hospital beds.

"We would be looking at patients that are already in our hospital, if we could go ahead and discharge these. If we could cancel elective surgeries, unnecessary admissions," said Sharon Brown of the Occupational Health and Infection Control Department at Riley Hospital.

If needed, officials from Riley, Rush and Anderson hospitals say patients could be transferred to hospitals in other areas, but only if there was no room at any of the hospitals here.

The hospitals are encouraging people who are most vulnerable to contracting the virus, such as women who are pregnant, young children and the chronically ill, to get vaccinated.

"We do encourage this because we really don't know the impact that it will have on us," said Laird.

Thirteen cases of the swine flu have been documented in Lauderdale County. Because of the rapid spread of the virus, many doctors stopped testing for it. Health care officials say the actual numbers are likely much higher that what has been documented. So far there have been no deaths from the virus in Lauderdale County.

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  • by Leah on Oct 5, 2009 at 11:40 AM
    ....and just one more thought..... This H1N1 flu has, so far, not been any worse than the "regular" flu. What ever happened to people just accepting the fact that this world is not perfect and sometimes.... well..... YOU GET SICK! And you deal with it. Plain and Simple. But the media and pharmaceutical companies are seizing the opportunity and are getting rich off the FEAR and IGNORANCE of the general public. They are taking advantage of what our society has become.... a take-a-pill-and-feel-better, instantly gratified 'fraidy cats. Pathetic.
  • by Leah on Oct 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM
    I am NOT getting the flu vaccine and I am an ER nurse that gets coughed on all the time. Who knows where these vaccines are manufactured? It could very well be China but I assure you, it's the lowest bidder. Pharmaceutical companies are in it for the money and I can guarantee you.... your health is NOT their primary concern. I could get into a lot more "conspiracy theory" type things but I'll leave it at this.... I am steering clear of the vaccine!
  • by truthseeker Location: mdn on Oct 4, 2009 at 07:07 AM
    PLEASE LISTEN TO ME! There are MANY ways to prepare for the flu season. One of them is to cut down on our sugar intake. READ the labels on the sugar content of EVERYTHING! (because it's even in stuff you might not think!). The next thing I would do is have my vitamin D levels checked. Our optimum D level should be between 60-80. Most viruses CANNOT attach if our Vit. D level is good. Next I would RESEARCH the effects of the vaccination itself. Big pharmas and main stream media WILL NOT tell you about these "side effects"! ( I don't call them SIDE effects---but DIRECT effects!) But...there are some so DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you decide to get the shots. Mercola.com is a great place to start. Also, you will find that vaccinations (because of the deadly ingredients) are linked to autism in our children. It's funny to me that there is---nor ever has been any autism found in the Amish people. Maybe it's because they don't allow themselves to be VACCINATED! PLEASE STUDY THIS ONE OUT!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 2, 2009 at 05:14 PM
    "Thirteen cases of the swine flu have been DOCUMENTED in Lauderdale County. Because of the rapid spread of the virus, many doctors stopped testing for it." DOCTORS ARE ASSUMING FLU CASES TO BE SWINE FLU AND NOT SEASONAL--SWINE FLU AND SEASONAL FLU ARE TREATED THE SAME WAY. THE NUMBERS DON'T MATTER. WHAT MATTERS IS TO TREAT THE FLU. TRY NOT TO SPREAD IT.
  • by confused Location: lauderdale on Oct 2, 2009 at 05:07 PM
    I am a little confused. How do we know how many cases of the swine we have in Lauderdale County/Meridian/Lauderdale if the doctors stop testing for it. Does not make any sense to me. Sounds to me like we need to keep testing because I want to know how many cases are in my town. Please keep testing..............
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