Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chandler firefighters refuse H1N1 vaccine

Ari Cohn
East Valley Tribune
Monday, Oct 19th, 2009

About three-quarters of Chandler firefighters eligible to receive doses from an early batch of the H1N1 flu vaccine have refused it, according to fire department officials.Most of the 200 doses allocated to the department’s roughly equal number of emergency responders likely will be returned to Maricopa County health officials for redistribution to medical professionals likely to encounter cases of the virus, said Marc Walker, a fire department spokesman.Only about 50 Chandler firefighters volunteered Wednesday and Thursday to receive a nasal mist containing a weakened form of the virus, said Donna Pierce, a Chandler Fire Department captain who traveled around to several city fire stations to administer the vaccine.Many of those who volunteered for the vaccine said it was because they have young children to whom they didn’t want to spread a possible infection.

“The other two-thirds are like, ‘Nope, we don’t want it,’” Pierce said.

Those who declined the vaccination generally said it was because the vaccine was new and untested, she said.

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