Swine flu innoculations for students begin Monday

Published 3:46 pm Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dr. James M. Riser of Riser Medical Associates of Picayune on Wednesday said that swine flu shots will be given to Poplarville students on Monday and Tuesday, that the shots are safe and that health officials are seeking to vaccinate 80 percent of the 2,194 Poplarville students on those two days.

Students receiving the vaccine need the approval of parents or a guardian, and the shots are free, Riser said.

Riser said that tentative plans call for Pearl River Central students to receive the shots on Dec. 5 and Picayune on Dec. 12. Both dates fall on Saturday. He said that the details of the vaccinations at Carriere and Picayune have not yet been fully finalized.

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He said the full details will be released to the public as soon as the planning is completed.

The revised scheduled for the Poplarville vaccinations call for vaccinations to be given on Monday, Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lower Elementary and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Middle School; and on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Upper Elementary and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school. The shots will be administered to school students only, said Riser.

The vaccinations will be administered by injection. No nasal spray will be used, and the shots will be administered by a group of qualified health caregivers under the supervision of Riser.

Dr. Riser said the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine is safe.

“It was made by the same manufacturer in the same way as the regular, seasonal flu vaccine and is just as safe as the regular, seasonal flu doses,” he said. “We feel it is very safe.”

School officials throughout the State of Mississippi acted this week to begin administering the swine flu vaccine to the state’s half-million students.

A State Health Department news release on Monday said that 373,900 swine flu shots have been allocated to Mississippi.

Of that amount, 270,200 are injectable and 103,700 nasal mist.

County health clinics has been allocated 85,390 shots, and the clinics began last week administering the shots to priority groups.

Right now in Pearl River County, the only place a person can receive a swine flu shot is at the Pearl River Çounty Health Department at Carriere. A spokesperson there last week said that although priority groups are placed first in line, caregivers are not turning down anyone who requests a shot.

Allocated for schools is 51,400 doses, state health officials said.

More information is available by going to www.healthyMS.com, or calling 1-877-222-9flu.

Dr. Riser’s website is: www.risermedical.com.