The vaccine is ready. Are you?Flu shots will be available weekdays starting Monday and are expected to be used up quickly. But some parents are skeptical about the relatively unknown vaccine.
By: Andy Greder, Duluth News Tribune
Following the advice of their pediatrician, Damon and Kirsten Walker of Duluth plan to take their
3-year-old daughter, Ella, to get an H1N1 flu vaccination next week.
SMDC Health System will distribute the vaccinations to eligible groups such as children ages 6 months to 4 years old, which includes Ella. The shots will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday — or while supplies last — in the Lake Superior Ballroom of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, 350 Harbor Drive
“I don’t think it’s going to fight off all the flus,” said Damon Walker, whose other daughter, 9-month-old Peyton, received the H1N1 shot during a doctor’s visit earlier this week. “I think they might get sick once or twice just from being around other kids all the time. But if it prevents the H1N1 that would be great, because kids are more high-risk for it to be a little bit more severe.”
But not everyone is eager to get in line with their children for the vaccine. Jordan Swader said she’s undecided about getting the H1N1 shot for her 4-year-old daughter, Chloe Sunnafrank.
“I’m a little skeptical,” Swader said. “It’s just new, and they haven’t done a lot of studying of it.”
While there is some skepticism, the shots could go fast. No appointments are necessary, but SMDC is recommending people check smdc.org to see wait times and vaccine availability.
“With the limited supply we have been given, SMDC won’t be able to vaccinate everyone in these priority groups,” Dr. Timothy Burke, SMDC’s infectious disease specialist, said in a prepared statement. “We are committed to getting the vaccine into as many people as we can, as quickly and safely as possible.”
St. Luke’s also has received a limited supply of the vaccine, but is taking a different approach to doling it out. Affiliated clinics are contacting people at greatest risk of serious illness as a result of H1N1 exposure to schedule shot appointments.
Eligible groups include pregnant women, children ages 6 months to four years, children ages 5-18 with chronic medical conditions and people who live or work with infants younger than
While the vaccine is free, there will be a government-set fee for administering the vaccine, SMDC said.