Thousands in Los Angeles receive H1N1 vaccine

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Patricia Nazario/KPCC

Hilda Yepiz is an office assistant at the Dental Office Tarzana. She took her whole family to get the H1N1 vaccine last Friday at L.A. County's free clinic at Encino's Balboa Sports Complex. She says there were no side effects.

Los Angeles County's H1N1 clinics are the county's biggest public health effort ever. Public health officials are scheduled to run 17 sites this week alone, including ones in Acton, Pomona, Downey and Compton.

Hundreds of people waited in line at the Industry Hills Expo Center in the City of Industry on Monday for their H1N1 inoculations. Los Angeles County Public Health officials hope to treat about 4,000 people every day.

The Center for Disease Control warns the vaccine and nasal spray could cause some minor side effects: soreness, running nose, headaches, among others.

Hilda Yepiz is a dental office assistant at the Dental Office Tarzana. She took her whole family to the county’s free clinic last Friday at Encino’s Balboa Sports Center. "It was my mom, my sister, my daughter, my son, and my niece and nephew," said Yepiz.

"So, did you guys get the shot or the nasal spray?" asked Patricia Nazario.

"We got the shot," said Yepiz. "Both of my children have asthma, so they weren't eligible to get the nasal spray, so I went ahead with the shot."

"Show me on your arm, or where did they give you the shot?" said Nazario.

"Here, somewhere," said Yepiz.

"I don't even see a point," said Nazario.

"No," she said. "It was seamless."

"Have you heard about what some of the side effects would be of the shot?" asked Nazario.

"I did, but I wasn’t worried about them," said Yepiz.

"And what about your kids?" asked Nazario. "How old are they?"

"My daughter’s 17," she said. "My son’s 14. They were fine. I think they were just a little tender, but that was all."

"How old is your mom?" asked Nazario.

"My mom is 54," said Yepiz. "She was fine.”

Fifty-five-year-old Alan Howard is a dentist at the Dental Office Tarzana. He's Hilda Yepiz's boss. He also got the H1N1 vaccine last Friday. But he said he suffered some side effects.

“I had a headache on the same day," said Howard. "Just a little headache that you walk around with.”

“If you look at the literature, those side effects are possible, but not common," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding. He's L.A. County's chief public health officer. He said the most common side effect is some soreness near the area of the shot. Other potential problems include vomiting, fever, or runny noses.

The federal Centers for Disease Control cautions the H1N1 vaccination is not for everybody. People with severe allergies to chick eggs or who’ve had a severe reaction to a past influenza shot should see a doctor before going for this one.

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