Leader Blues

Saturday, October 31, 2009

TOP STORY >> Beebe clinic in short supply

Daniel Holland of Beebe, along with hundreds of others, gets a free seasonal flu shot Friday at the Beebe Health Unit from clinic coordinator Becky Snodgrass.


By JEFFREY SMITH
Leader staff writer

Demand for the H1N1 vaccinations and seasonal flu shots was so high that the Beebe Health Unit ran out on Friday. The clinic doors were locked by 2:15 p.m. and dejected residents walked to their cars in hopes of getting shots on another day.

A few residents were in luck when the clinic reopened briefly after staff found an additional supply of seasonal flu shots. By noon, the White County Health Unit had given 225 seasonal flu shots and 48 swine flu nasal vaccines.

Daniel Holland of Beebe was one of the few who missed the long lines in the morning.

“I was supposed to have a shot at work, but I had to go to an alternate source.

“I want to prevent being sick this year if at all possible,” Holland said.

In Cabot, 700 flu vaccinations were given by noon at the Veterans Park Community Center.

The line thinned out by late morning.

Administering the vaccinations in Cabot were students from both Baptist Health’s School of Nursing and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Nursing, along with nurses from the White County Regional Medical Center and Arkansas Department of Health.

Milton Garris, Arkansas Department of Health administrator for Lonoke County, said the flu clinic had a solid turnout. The clinic still had shots to give out at noon. He said the average wait was 30 minutes.

“There were a couple hundred waiting when the doors opened at 9 a.m. We’ve been steady all day,” Garris said.

The flu clinic allowed nursing students on-the-job training for their future careers.

UALR registered nursing student Kelsey Whitlock said, “You definitely get practice on giving shots for when you get out in the working world. You are not as nervous.”

Hannah Gibson, also a registered nursing student at UALR, said the flu clinic had been an eye-opening experience. She said it is important for nursing students to volunteer. Gibson said it was encouraging to see nurses helping the nursing students and the community.