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SANTA CLARITA GIVES FLU VIRUS ITS BEST SHOT.

Byline: Patricia Farrell Aidem Daily News Staff Writer

Neal Berndt got his free flu shot Tuesday at a City Hall clinic, then headed to the dentist for a root canal.

It wasn't his day, Berndt said, noting he wasn't sure he wanted to watch the evening's election returns in case bad things really do come in threes.

``I never had a flu shot before,'' said Berndt, who was in Santa Clarita City Hall on business. ``I saw a guy in the hall, and he said they were giving free shots here.''

About 200 were expected at the five-hour clinic in City Council chambers. Yet well before lunchtime, about 150 had come through the doors, signed releases, taken their shots and filled out brief surveys. The process took less than five minutes.

The free clinic was offered by the city, Health Net and the Greater Valley Medical Center. A three-woman crew had 250 doses of the flu vaccine on hand, said Pat Mahoney, a health center manager for Greater Valley.

Nurse Elizabeth Whalen and medical assistant Teresa Perez administered the shots.

``I'm being forced into it, I am,'' said a reluctant Lori Murphy, who works for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce. Her boss, she said, strongly ``suggested'' she get the free shot.

Murphy said her grandmother often reminded her to get a flu shot, advice she ignored - then paid for each flu season.

``My grandmother died two weeks ago,'' Murphy said. ``I did it today for my grandmother.''

Mahoney suggested people who have not been immunized against influenza types A and B hurry and do so. Flu shot season, she said, runs through early November. The flu season itself lasts through March.

Influenza is characterized by fever, ``heavy duty'' body aches, persistent cough and chills, Whalen said.

CAPTION(S):

2 Photos

Photo: (1) Valencia resident Bill Gustin turns away as licensed vocational nurse Elizabeth Whalen administers a flu shot.

(2) Nurse Elizabeth Whalen and medical assistant Teresa Perez fill syringes with flu vaccine.

Shaun Dyer/Special to the Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 6, 1996
Words:341
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