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TV shots foment flu flap

November 22, 2000

TV shots foment flu flap



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


The Washington County Commissioners have not had flu shots this year despite a Tuesday night news story on a Hagerstown television station that implied otherwise.

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As part of a story about flu shots aired on NBC25, video footage showed Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook and Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger getting flu shots from the Washington County Health Department.

But the footage was from last year.

The commissioners said they have not had their flu shots this year and issued a press release to that effect.

"It is a mistake and we're running a clarification," said Mark Kraham, news director of NBC25. A reporter was looking for footage and because there wasn't any from this year used old footage, he said.

A clarification ran during the noon broadcast Wednesday.

About 250 people called the Health Department Wednesday asking for information on the availability of flu shots, said county Health Officer William Christoffel.

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At least 35 of those callers also wanted to know why it appeared the commissioners were getting flu shots before they were available to the general public.

The television station broadcast the Health Department's phone number so people could get information on when the flu shots would be administered.

Christoffel said Tuesday that the fact that the county's order of 8,000 doses of the vaccine is coming in five separate deliveries this year - instead of one batch as it did last year - is making it difficult to schedule clinics, especially around the holidays.

"We expect to have a moderate-sized clinic in mid-December," he said.

Two large clinics probably will be scheduled for late December, one at North Hagerstown High School and another at South Hagerstown High, where 3,000 to 4,000 doses can be administered, Christoffel said.

The rest of the vaccine would be available to clinics in Hancock and Keedysville, he said.

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