Experts have been warning us that a 3rd wave of the H1N1 flu virus isn't out of the question.
Thousands have taken the warning seriously and rolled up their sleeve to get protection. But once the mass vaccination clinics end, what's next to make sure it doesn't spread?
Beginning at 10 in the morning, a steady line of people made there way through the Sioux Falls Convention Center...getting a shot at the last mass vaccination clinic in town.
“We don't anticipate doing any more large ones," said Sioux Falls Risk Manager Regan Smith.
With 85 hundred doses available thousands of people took advantage before the doors closed at six o'clock... and for good reason.
“There could be once people get back together, definitely there could be a 3rd wave,” said Smith.
The State Health Department is reporting that more than two-thousand South Dakotans have had laboratory-confirmed cases of H1N1. They estimate 50 times that many have actually had H1N1 but not been sick enough to see a doctor.
And hundreds of thousands have been vaccinated across the state.
“I know we've done over 20 thousand at our large events,” Smith said.
But health officials say that's still not enough. The state health department says two-thirds of people in the state are still at risk for H1N1 and its complications.
So, if you couldn't get to a local clinic, do you still have a chance at protection? And what happens to all that left over vaccine?
“It goes back into the stock pile and basically we look to the state and they direct us where to distribute it - whether it might go to local clinics or the Sioux Falls Health Clinic might take it and distribute it there,” Smith said.
If your town is no longer hosting these large clinics, it's now up to you and your doctor.
“We encourage people that want the vaccine or want the shot to contact their doctor or local clinic and get it there,” Smith said.
But what if that predicted 3rd wave shows its face over the next few weeks?
“We would be ready for that. I mean our planning group would discuss it with state health and if the need is there - yea we'll definitely ramp up and offer it again,” Smith said.
And if you happened to miss this clinic, there are plenty of vaccine clinics
happening across the state this week.
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