LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A year after the H1N1 pandemic started, batches of the vaccine in Angelina County have already expired and been disposed of. However, many batches are still good and flu vaccinations are being made now that include the new strain.
Since the pandemic started, Angelina County and Cities Health District has vaccinated about 6,000 East Texans and they're still encouraging people to get the shot.
"It's a good idea to continue to think about it," said Sharon Shaw with ACCHD. "Last year we had quite an outbreak during the summer. A lot of kids went away to summer camp. They were mixing with other kids that they're not used to being around."
During the year, the scare emptied East Texas ball fields when UIL postponed all activities.
"It put us in a bind, because we had regional track that was postponed, baseball playoffs that were postponed, and other activities and we kind of said what do we do," remembered Hudson ISD Athletic Director Jimmy Eby.
He said as frustrating as it was, he knew there were tough decision that had to be made.
"There were so many unknowns and there had been multiple deaths in Mexico and we just wanted to be cautious and make sure," Shaw said. "We didn't want to invite any trouble."
Shaw said looking back, canceling city events was the right move.
"I think it's wise to cancel events when you're not sure of what the outcome is going to be," Shaw explained.
The outcome for a few East Texans was fatal.
"There's always concern when you have death associated with any kind of disease process," Shaw said.
She said the medical community worked well together, but with any health scare, there's always something out of your hands.
"A lot of it we couldn't control, we couldn't control when the vaccine came," she said.
It's the things you can't control that you learn to work with.
"It's part of life and you know you have to overcome some obstacles and that was just an obstacle that we had to overcome," Eby said.
If you've had the H1N1 shot, it's good for about a year. The new flu shot will also include the H1N1 strain and Shaw expects it to arrive in October. The health district is still encouraging pregnant women and people under 20 to get the vaccine.