H1N1 and politics

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The first H1N1 injectable vaccinations arrived in Nacogdoches late yesterday. The Texas Department of Health Services, some physicians and Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital now have the vaccine on their shelves. Some allotments are as small as ten injectable's.

"Now that we have it and we're going to be getting more, we need to get it to the people who want it," instructed Dr. William Hairston to his staff.

The same day, republican Senator John Cornyn issued the following statement. "If the government can't run existing public health programs competently, why should we trust the government with even more responsibility-such as running a new government plan-in health care?"

H1N1 is a health concern, but it's also a political hot potato.

"The furor that gets around to the H1N1 is similar to the furor that developed whenever President Obama decided he wanted to make a speech to the children of America about how important it is to stay in the school and get a good education," Vance Rogers, member of Nacogdches County Democrats commented. "So I think that may be just a remnant or carry over of that."

Republican party chair, Jackie Yates has a different viewpoint. "What Senator Cornyn has done is speaking to his constituents. He was elected to do a job and he's just doing his job," said Yates. "He was told one thing and was expecting it. When it doesn't happen he's got to take action," said Yates.

Blame is being cast in many directions on the delay of H1N1 shipments. "It's due primarily to the production of the vaccine," explained Hairston. "It all takes time."

For the most part, doctor's advice, not politics is why people are receiving the H1N1 vaccine. "I think it's a health decision," said Hairston, who serves for the Nacogdoches County Health Authority. Hairston attends numerous H1N1 conferences in that capacity. He's pleased politics is rarely mentioned on the professional level.  "It's not been brought out. Nothing about politics, or do take it or don't take it because of any particular party," said Hairston.

It hasn't entered the mind of Maria Garcia either. She knows why she's at the doctor's office.   "For prevention," the 16 year old said. A good reason to be there, even for politicians.

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