ONTARIO, Oregon -- Health officials in Oregon say the flu is only at a moderate stage, and they'd like to keep it that way.
Stephanie Dockweiler is the Malheur County Health Department Director and a registered nurse. She was busy on Saturday. "I'm very excited. I wasn't sure what the response was going to be."
That's because her office was holding a free flu shot clinic for the uninsured.
"We advertised to start giving out the flu vaccine at about 10 this morning. When I got here at 9:15, we had about 15 people outside," said Dockweiler.
The parents of Humberto Diaz brought him from Nyssa to get his shot. "I've had this [flu] actually before, last year. So, my parents wanted to make sure I didn't get it this year."
Stephanie Encinas brought her daughter Khloee Maldonado to get her shot. "A lot of her friends have gotten the flu... And, she likes to share and hug and everything with everybody. And so, this is the only way I can contain her to make sure she doesn't get nothing."
Dockweiler said they had about 120 doses of vaccine to start the day, and were scheduled to go for four hours. But, they ran out of vaccine after about two hours.
She's OK with that. She says prevention of the flu, and its' spread is key, especially for the people in the community in need, with no health insurance. They would have almost no other way to get it otherwise.
"$25, which is what we charge here, can be an extraordinary amount of money," said Dockweiler. "If we can get vaccine, offer it for free, and get people protected, that's the most important thing we can do for our community."
Again, Dockweiler says they're currently out of flu shots, but hope to get more in soon. She says, if you're uninsured in the Ontario area, and need flu shots, to give them a call anyway. Their number is 541-889-7279. They might be able to point you in another direction.
For anyone who's looking for a place to get a flu shot, we've setup a hotlink to a website to direct you.