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Union County Health Unit delays flu vaccination clinic


Thousands of schoolchildren in El Dorado are getting vaccinated for the flu this week. The Union County Health Unit offers the vaccines through the schools. But plans for a mass one-day flu clinic are on hold until November, according to Melaney Helm, coordinator of Union County’s flu clinic.

“Due to a delay in a shipment from the flu vaccine’s distributor -- normally we hold it the last week of October -- this year it looks like it’s going to be in November,” Helm said, who is awaiting an exact date.

The nasal spray flu vaccine is proving to be very effective and popular, according to Helm.

“We have a shortage on the mist because a lot more people are wanting the mist. The mist is a little bit faster acting than the injectable. I think that word is getting out. Of course, the small children want it because they can avoid the shot,” Helm said.

The Union County Health Unit administers the flu shots and mists free of charge, but people covered by health insurance must provide their information. Helm said more than 1,100 people are usually vaccinated through the health unit’s mass flu clinic.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.