Students offered free flu shots

KAYLA STACY – Hoof Prints Staff

It’s that time of year that almost everyone dreads, flu season. Unfortunately, this year is worse. There has been a new type of flu, known as H1N1 or swine flu, which has been classified as a global pandemic.

People everywhere are taking precautions, including schools throughout Arkansas. Governor Mike Beebe is taking part of the stimulus money to offer the flu and H1N1 shots for free for all Arkansas public school students and staff; participation is voluntary.

The Arkansas Department of Health will be at the high school and West Elementary on Nov. 4 and at junior high and East Elementary Nov. 9. In order for students to receive these shots, they will need their parents to sign a consent form allowing them to do so.

Some students are still nervous about receiving these shots. Janna Whitlock, junior, stated that she would not get the shots. She stated that her mother read her an email saying that the H1N1 vaccination had something in it that could damage the nervous system.

“I’d rather risk getting sick and there be a cure then getting the shot and have something wrong with my nervous system,” stated Whitlock. “Besides, God has everyone’s life planned out. Some people die from cancer, natural causes and getting sick. There’s nothing I can do to change his plans and I’m ready to go when he’s ready for me. So I just don’t see the need to get the shots.”

Bianca Garcia, junior, will not be getting the shot as well. She stated that her mom didn’t feel like it has been tested enough, and she is afraid of what the side effects will do. “It’s not my decision, it’s my mom’s but if it was well-tested like the regular flu shot and mom was okay with it, then I would probably get it.” stated Garcia.

Mrs. Carol Hamrick, art teacher, said she was going to get the shots. “I saw on Larry King, a doctor saying that it was a no-brainer for him, that he and his family would be getting the shots because the chance of getting sick or dying from the flu was much greater chance than having a reaction to the shot,” stated Mrs. Hamrick.

Veda Shrable, school nurse, suggested that if students have a concern about the shots, they need to talk to their family physician to see what he recommends.