A "handfull" of students taken to hospital after swine flu shots or nasal spray
Updated at 7:15 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2009
Paramedics called to Sacred Hearts after swine flu vaccinations given
A "handful" of Sacred Hearts Academy students were taken to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children after receiving swine flu shots or nasal spray at the school this morning, school principal Betty White said.
"One reported feeling light-headed, one had a stomach ache and one reported a rash," White said.
White said it is not clear that the symptoms reported by the students were due to a reaction from the flu inoculations.
All but one of the students were sent home from the hospital by 2 p.m., White said. One girl, who suffered from asthma, was held a little longer for chest X-rays, White said.
Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, which has organized swine flu immunization clinics at public and private schools across the state, said it is not at all unusual for people who get a swine flu shot to feel light-headed or a bit nauseous immediately after the injection.
"We recommend that they sit and rest for about five minutes after getting the shot," Okubo said.
The site of the injection can feel sore and itchy afterwards as well, Okubo said.
Okubo said a major immunizatioin clinic was held at Moanalua Middle School on Friday and there were virtually no adverse reactions among the 400 students there who participated.
"Were not aware of any significant responses that would warrant worry on the part of parents," Okubo said.
White said 281 Sacred Hearts students opted for injections while 106 requested the nasal spray version. Most were in the elementary grades, White said.
Eight students reported a reaction and city paramedics were called to the school as a precaution, White said.
"We were just following policy in calling the paramedics," White said.
Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department, said city paramedics were sent to the school three different times this morning.
The first call for assistance was received at 9:27 a.m. and a girl under the age of 10 who was complaining of shortness of breath was taken in stable condition to an area hospital, Cheplic said.
At 10:16 a.m., paramedics were called back to the school and transported two more adolescent students in stable condition to a nearby hospital. One was complaining of stomach pains and the other of being light-headed, Cheplic said.
The third all came at 11:22 a.m. and an adult female at the school was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition. Cheplic said he did not know what the medical complaint was.
A second ambulance crew on the third visit took two more adolescent females to a nearby hospital in stable condition. Cheplic said both girls were complaining of abdominal pain and blurry vision.
In addition, paramedics treated and released three adults and other child at the school, Cheplic said.
Okubo said "feelings of anxiety could have transfer from one student to another" resulting in the number of students who reported feeling ill after the shot.