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H1N1 Vaccine Clinic Open To Everyone

December 10, 2009, 6:00 PM by Kelli Grant

H1N1 Vaccine Clinic Open To Everyone
Only one new case of the H1N1 virus was reported last week and that may have many of you thinking the virus is going away. Health officials say that's the furthest thing from the truth and now is a perfect time to get your vaccine. And you're in luck, it's now easier to get it. A vaccine clinic at the Sioux Falls Convention Center has opened to anyone who wants it.

With over 6,000 doses of the vaccine available, a slower than expected turnout at the Sioux Falls Convention Center is concerning for health officials.

Especially Dr. Greg Poland, Director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine research Group. He's in town speaking to staff at Sanford Health.

"I think the reasonable thing to do is to say this is a safe vaccine, the data shows that. It's an effective vaccine, the data show that and it works so I should get it," Poland said.

Poland says of the 80 million doses given so far, there hasn't been a single serious side effect.

"It's made the same way the seasonal vaccine is by the same manufacturing methods by the same manufacturers. There are no shortcuts to take," Poland said.

And he says now that this wave of the virus has peaked, it's the perfect time to get the shot or mist. Especially with the holidays right around the corner.

"We're coming up on Christmas. What does that do to a family holiday, for example, or family when people will be gathering now. We'll probably see another uptick in the rate of disease and of transmission and it's all avoidable by just getting a vaccine," Poland said.

Those who have made their way to the Sioux Falls Convention Center aren't taking chances.

"I think it could probably pop up at any time. So it's better to be safe than sorry," mom Melissa Stich said.

Poland says she has the right idea. Because this vaccine clinic is open to anyone who wants it, this vaccine expert says get it now.

"Now they've had that opportunity. So the thing that we're going to do now is open it up to everybody that wants to avoid getting infected," Poland said.

Again there are thousands of doses available at the vaccine clinic in Sioux Falls. And the doors will be open until 7 Thursday night.

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