School swine flu vaccinations start

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - One by one, the first elementary school students at Mary Munford in Richmond's Near West End are getting their H1N1 vaccines.

Lori Stein's kindergarten daughter will be one of the hundreds getting the shot. As a nurse, she knows the importance of protecting her children.

"It's really contagious, especially in the schools.... Hard to prevent," says Lori.

It's also hard to prevent an unexpected shortage of the vaccine. The Richmond City Health District is concerned there might not be enough shots for the clinics set up at other elementary schools, starting on Tuesday.

"It's going to require an adjustment of our plan but we are being optimistic. We have enough vaccine to start this process, we're hoping it comes in soon," says George Jones, with the health district.

About 10,000 doses of the vaccine were ordered. But thanks to a manufacturers delay in shipment, we're told only about 500 shots have arrived.

"We're going to be optimistic, but you have to realistic as well," adds Jones.

The health district wont know until later today if the expected shipment arrives and if the several elementary schools set to hold their clinics tomorrow will go on, as planned.

Meanwhile, parents like Lori are making sure their children are protect from the deadly disease. "It's pretty scary. I just assume to avoid my child from getting sick and I don't want to get sick etiher."

This as health care providers are hoping the shots they need to keep schools free of the sickness make it here sooner, rather than later.

We will know by the end of the day today whether or not the clinics will go on as scheduled on Tuesday. Stay with NBC12 for the latest developments.

At noon on Monday, almost 4,000 students have signed up at the elementary schools to get the vaccine.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.