Over at Sentinel High School the story is similar. Nurse Penny Atkin says that this year’s hard and early hit has yet to taper off. The nurses do what they can to encourage prevention, but schools are nearly perfect breeding grounds for flu.
“I encourage all the kids not to share drinks and to wash their hands and all that kind of stuff, but it’s really hard to contain,” says Schaff.
The City/County Health Department’s Pam Goldberg says that this year is unusual because of the way the flu ran through the youth population. Normally, the department doesn’t vaccinate children—only people who work with the sick. But this year the bug hit kids first and worked its way up to adults. This year is also unusual because the department is almost out of the adult vaccine. “What’s happened is that the flu vaccine makers evidently didn’t make enough, and so we’ve just got our last shipment of flu vaccine of the year,” says Goldberg. “And we’ve already run out of the stuff for kids three and under.”
As Goldberg is confronted with “lines out the door,” she’s worried that the supply meant to last months won’t last another two weeks.
“Even the doctors’ offices are out of the vaccine,” she says. “We’re the only one who still has it.”