Deputies Hold Boy Who Fled Flu Shot

WHEELING – It took the strength of two sheriff’s deputies to keep a middle schooler still enough to receive a shot of the swine flu, or H1N1, vaccine at a recent clinic.

During a regular Wheeling-Ohio County Health Board meeting Tuesday, health department Administrator Howard Gamble told board members about the student’s attempt to flee Wheeling Middle School during a vaccination clinic held there last Friday.

He noted the boy’s mother could not bear to watch the scene and left the gymnasium. Out of apparent fear of receiving the injection, the student ran out of the building. The school’s resource officer, Ohio County Sheriff’s Deputy John Haglock, coaxed the boy back inside. Once at the shot station, however, Haglock apparently needed some help keeping the boy still, and another deputy assisted.

“He tried to run. I looked over and saw two sheriff’s deputies holding a kid down,” Gamble said. “Mom took off, she couldn’t take it. You had one nurse with the needle, two deputies holding him, one nurse is grabbing hands – because that’s what they want to do, to go after the needle. And that’s the last thing you want.”

Gamble said as soon as the nurse gave the boy his injection and told him he was done, he hopped up like nothing had happened.

“For the most part they go very easy. As far as the shots, every once in awhile you have to hold down one or two – but that’s why mom is there or dad is there,” Gamble said.

He added after the meeting that Friday’s incident was the only time Ohio County deputies have held a student during a shot.

“They’re mostly there for parking and directions. They also know the kids. … They were our first line of contact when setting up the clinics,” Gamble said.

Neither Sheriff Pat Butler nor Haglock could be reached for comment. A sheriff’s department official said Haglock is on vacation for the next two weeks.

During a clinic Tuesday at Bridge Street Middle School, similar scenes took place – though not quite as dramatic and not involving officers of the law. A couple sets of parents could be seen keeping their children from wiggling away while a nurse quickly administered the vaccine.

Ten-year-old Austin Price, the son of Jennifer and Josh Price, decided to take the shot standing up and with no assistance from his mom or dad. He even smiled for a photograph.

And on a scale of 1-10, how painful was the shot?

A “4,” he answered.

By 7:30 p.m., 391 students from Bridge Street and Elm Grove and Middle Creek elementary schools had been vaccinated. Gamble expected that by the clinic’s end at 8 p.m., more than 400 would have received the inoculation.

The final two student clinics in Ohio County are:

  • For students of Warwood Middle School, Corpus Christi, Warwood and West Liberty Elementary schools from 3:30-8 p.m. Thursday at Warwood Middle School Gym.
  • For students of Wheeling Park High School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at WPHS Activities Center.

Tuesday’s health board meeting was held in the county commission board room – located on the second floor of the City-County Building – due to the health department’s board room being used for storage.