Sand Springs School Children Among First To Get H1N1 Vaccinations

Thursday, October 8th 2009, 11:49 am
By: News On 6

SAND SPRINGS, OK -- The H1N1 Vaccine was administered for the first time today in Tulsa County, and a group of Sand Springs Elementary students was the first to receive it.

One hundred kids at Limestone Elementary were vaccinated against H1N1 this morning.   But administrators there say many parents remain skeptical about this effort to fight the virus.

Flu season came early for the kids at Limestone Elementary. Last week, a third of the students were kept home because of it, and administrators say there are suspected swine flu cases.

That is why the Health Department chose to roll out the new H1N1 vaccine here. Since the shots aren't available yet and often not preferred by kids, the students  were given the nasal mist.

"I sometimes cry because I just don't like them, and I don't want them anymore.  I'd rather have this than the shots," said Angel Marie Radloff, a Limestone fifth grader.

While slightly apprehensive before hand, most seemed unphased by the two quick sprays.

The same can't be said of many Limestone Elementary parents. Some were eager to see their kids vaccinated.

"I'm very glad that they did get it here because we'd have a hard time getting it otherwise because they have such a short supply of it," said Teresa Rotramel, parent.

But the majority opted not to allow their kids to get the mist. Principal Kristin Arnold says concerns over the new vaccine meant that 60% of her kids would not receive it.

"There was more than what I thought there would be," said Limestone Elementary Principal Kristin Arnold. I kind of asked the health department what they thought about those numbers, and they thought that was higher than what they expected too."

Those who were vaccinated say it was worth it, and believe they are now shielded from the flu seaon's biggest threat.

"I feel like I'm protected from someone going, like rubbing it all over you," said Angel Marie Radloff.  Sometimes I just go..."

The Health Department says it will be administering the vaccine at other Tulsa County schools in the coming weeks, but has not said where or when that will happen.

10/2/2009 Related story: H1N1 Vaccine Beginning To Arrive In Tulsa

Officials say although many Tulsa County schools are reporting student absences similar to those found during typical flu season, Limestone Elementary School is experiencing a higher than usual absentee rate.