By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The CDC is reporting the number of H1N1 cases is decreasing, however they say there is still a need to be concerned. One in six Americans have gotten the virus and nearly 10,000 have died. Of those deaths 1,100 were children.
In Lubbock County alone, the H1N1 virus has hospitalized 23 people and put 12 in ICU just since the end of September. Since April, five people have died locally from the virus. Although hospitals like UMC and Covenant are seeing declines like on the national level, there are still concerns for high risk groups like children.
"We've seen those kids that are less than two and three years of age, they do have a higher complication rate and with those kids we're a lot more careful when they did come in," said UMC Dr. Tom Gonzales.
That's why the Lubbock Health Department is working with Lubbock County schools to vaccinate the high risk children. So far Idalou, Slaton, New Deal and Frenship students have had the chance to get vaccinated at the free clinics.
However the turn out isn't as high as the 60% they expected. "We're getting about a 30% response rate of the student population, and we've administered about 2,000 doses at this point," said Health Department Public Coordinator Sandy Fortenberry.
The four school districts left to get the free H1N1 clinics are Lubbock ISD, Roosevelt, Shallowater, and Lubbock Cooper. LISD will hold their clinic this Saturday; the other three will be next week.
Fortenberry says it's vital these kids get the vaccination. "The vaccine is good even if someone has had H1N1 flu already and perhaps there may be a third wave coming, so anything you can do to boost your immunity is good," said Fortenberry.
©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.