Two students show mild reaction to swine flu shots

CALEDONIA – Two Caledonia High School students had mild allergic reactions after receiving swine flu shots Wednesday.
The two students had hives and complained of shortness of breath after being vaccinated.
They were treated and sent to the Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus as a precaution, said Liz Sharlot, director of communications for the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The shots were given as part of voluntary vaccination programs at Lowndes County Schools. No other allergic reactions were reported among those schools.
Six other students had no hives but complained of shortness of breath. They were also sent to the ER as a precaution, but they did not have allergic reactions.
About 10,000 swine flu shots have been administered in Mississippi and only three cases of mild allergic reactions have been reported, including the two students, Sharlot said. The location of the third reaction was not revealed.
Public health officials say clinical trials have shown the novel H1N1 flu vaccine is safe and effective. In national trials, the most common side effects were redness or swelling at the site of the injection, headache or general feeling of sickness.
The swine flu shot is made the same way as the seasonal flu shot.
Voluntary school immunization clinics are continuing across the state. Demand for the novel H1N1 vaccine at county health departments has been steady.
Tupelo Public School District will offer the vaccines starting Monday. Lee County Schools also will offer the shots at its schools and is working with the health department district office to set dates.
Outside the school campaigns, the health department is currently focusing on pregnant women, children between 6 months and 4 years old and people who live with infants under 6 months.
Swine flu vaccinations will become more available to more people as supplies grow. Seasonal flu shots are available and encouraged without restrictions, health officials say.
Among those who should not be vaccinated: infants under 6 months, people allergic to eggs and those who have previously had an allergic reaction to a flu shot.
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.

Michaela Morris/NEMS Daily Journal