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Free vaccines for flood victims, first responders

By ANNA MEILER

MOHAWK, N.Y. (WKTV) – Herkimer County Public Health administered hundreds of free vaccines on Wednesday and they’re urging anyone who hasn’t received one to take that precaution.

Flood waters can contain fecal matter, bacteria and viruses so health officials say flood victims, first responders and friends lending a helping hand should get the Tdap vaccine. It protects you from Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis.

Because Tetanus is found in the dirt and is contracted through scrapes and wounds, it’s the biggest concern right now.

“If you’re playing in the mud and muck, you haven’t had a Tetanus shot in the last ten years, come find us, we’ll be around the communities,” said Diane Ward, a Community Health Nurse with Herkimer County Public Health.

Shannon Mcevoy is an Ilion Firefighter and received a vaccine.

“I think it’s great for the general public, especially if they walk through it,” he said. “We have some safety equipment, some gear that does help protect us, but the average citizen walks out in just normal street attire and the chances for lacerations or abrasions is far greater so it’s good that they offer that and make people aware mainly of the potential of infection and things like that,” said Mcevoy.

Mcevoy also says health concerns will continue to grow as time goes on.

“People need to be conscientious of that and make sure they heed all the safety warnings that they’re putting out,” he said.

Because of the wide-spread need, the state is providing an additional 200 Tdap vaccines. There will likely be another session on Friday. Stay with WKTV for the locations and times.

There are more health concerns besides Tetanus, but you can visit this website for more information on how to properly clean your home after a flood.

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