H1N1 vaccine arrives at Valley elementary schools

Parents had to decide whether to vaccinate their children for the H1N1 swine flu virus as the state administered free vaccines at Valley elementary schools this week.

The total number of vaccinations is hard to pin down, said Douglas County School District Chief Nurse Bonnie Dellner.

"It varies according to the school, but was as high as 50 percent at some schools," Dellner said on Monday.

She said the number of students infected by the swine flu has also been difficult to determine.

"We stopped counting based on absentee percentages. It's hard to say with percentages how many are out because of it," she said. "We do know there have been quite a few, but don't know exactly how many at this point."

According to the state's latest numbers, there have been 172 confirmed or probable cases of H1N1 swine flu in Douglas County since the contagion first arrived in the summer.

The Nevada State Health Division said no one from Douglas County has died from the flu. As of Friday, 1,138 doses of the H1N1 vaccine had been distributed in the county, not taking into account the wave of vaccinations this week at elementary schools.

On Monday, nurses from Carson City Health and Human Services administered the vaccine to students at Meneley, Scarselli, and Gardnerville elementary schools. Today, the vaccines were distributed at Minden, Jacks Valley, Pinon Hills and Zephyr Cove elementary schools.

"It's gone exceedingly well," Dellner said Monday. "They had plenty of people working and kept the kids moving. I didn't see any problems."

Dellner said vaccines will be distributed at secondary school sites around Dec. 1.

"It (H1N1) really hasn't been worse than the seasonal flu," she said. "We're still encouraging kids who are sick to stay out until they're able to come back fever free. And we're still pushing good hygiene."


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