Swine flu vaccine arrives in Whatcom Co.


by By / KING 5 News


Posted on October 20, 2009 at 11:17 AM

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - At Bellingham's Fire Station One, Chief Bill Boyd knows swine flu doesn't discriminate.

"My son actually came down with it here about few weeks ago," said Boyd. "A very severe case of the flu."

Twenty-two-year old Tyler Boyd was among thousands of Husky fans who rushed the field after the USC victory. Amidst the hugging and high fives, Boyd believes he came in contact with someone carrying the virus.

Only a few weeks earlier, one of Bill Boyd's high school buddies, a Navy agent with NCIS and consultant on the popular TV show of the same name, died from flu induced pneumonia.

"[He was a] healthy individual, 50 years old," said Boyd. "[It's a] very sad, very tragic case."

That's part of the reason Boyd is encouraging his first responders, like paramedics, to get the swine flu vaccine

"It's extremely important, not just from a personal health standpoint," said Boyd, "but also a patient care and community service standpoint."

Four hundred doses of vaccine have arrived at Bellingham's Saint Joseph's hospital.

Staffers who refuse it won't be allowed to work with high risk patients.

Hospital CEO Nancy Steiger says a quarter of people coming into the emergency room this week have flu symptoms.

"Yesterday we saw 40 people with influenza like illnesses," said Steiger.

As for Tyler Boyd, he's getting better.

After more than two weeks of misery, his dad asked him a question the other day:

Boyd asked his son, "If the vaccine had been available before you got sick, would you have gotten it?"

His reply said Boyd was, "a fairly emphatic 'yes.'"