Mild ills send 6 to hospital after school flu clinic


POSTED: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reactions to swine flu vaccinations sent six people to a hospital yesterday, but state Department of Health officials said their symptoms of dizziness and nausea were mild and no cause for alarm.

City ambulance crews were summoned to Sacred Hearts Academy by a private medical service administering an H1N1 immunization clinic at the Kaimuki school, said Principal Betty White.

White said about a dozen of 388 students who received flu shots or nasal spray reported dizziness, stomachache or soreness on the arm where the shot was applied.

She said city emergency medical technicians checked the children and decided to transport several to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children for examination. All were later released.

“;A girl with asthma was going to get a chest X-ray,”; White said. The lone adult, a parent volunteer, reported nausea after getting a shot and “;may have been the sickest,”; she said.

Three other adults and one child were treated at the scene, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department. Five girls and one woman were taken in stable condition to the hospital in four ambulances that responded between 9:30 and 11:20 a.m., he said.

Reactions came from both forms of vaccination, White said. Some 282 received shots and 106 got nasal spray, their parents' decision. Several nurses with the Altres agency administered vaccine to girls from junior kindergarten through sixth grade, all gathered in a large conference room waiting their turn.

“;The reactions were common mild responses to vaccination, likely not caused by the vaccine,”; said Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo. “;It may have been anxiety that transferred to other children.”;

Okubo said the “;clinic manager may have been inexperienced.”; A doctor is on call to address problems in the clinics, but when the doctor was not available yesterday morning, the manager called the ambulance service.

Okubo said nausea and dizziness might occur when someone stands up suddenly after vaccination, and “;that's why we recommend they sit still for five minutes.”;

Okubo said no incidents of bad reactions were reported at three other schools where shots and spray were administered yesterday, nor at the Friday clinic at Moanalua Middle School.

White said, “;We hope parents won't get anxious and pull kids from the clinics. If we worry about a real epidemic being possible, it's important they take pre- cautionary steps.”;