Even Santa worries about H1N1

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PHOENIX -- It's that time again. Christmas is coming and Santa is gearing up -- from the coats, to the belt …to the swine flu shot?

“Not even teachers have as many kids in their face on a daily basis for a month and a half running then Santa himself,” a Phoenix Santa told 3TV.

That's why Santas across the country say they should be given priority when it comes to getting vaccinated. Some, from groups like Santa America, are even asking lawmakers for help because of the risks.

“They're touching you, there is that green slimy stuff sometimes coming out of their nose,” Santa laughed. “That upsets Mrs. Claus.”

Luckily this Phoenix Santa got his hands on a dose. He is the real Claus after all.

“Oh yeah, I got it,” he said. “I got the sore arm to prove it.”

But other Santas -- not to mention all of Santa's helpers – are still waiting for the vaccine.

There is some good news for them and everyone else waiting for their shot: Saturday Scottsdale Healthcare will offer 700 doses to anyone between 6 months and 65 years old.

“We're holding this clinic in anticipation of getting a jump ahead of the next wave of H1N1,” explained Keith Jones of Scottsdale Healthcare.

And don't worry about spending your Christmas money on a shot at this clinic; they'll be free.

In the meantime, the real Claus says his team is taking precautions.

“They’re popping the vitamin C and the E and all that stuff,” Santa said. “A change of uniform every day is a minimum.”

And when it comes to making that list … well you can bet hand sanitizer will be on it.

On Saturday Scottsdale Healthcare will offer 700 doses of the H1N1 vaccine for free to anyone between 6 months and 65 years old. For more information go to www.shc.org/welcome.asp or www.shc.org/pdf/Press_2010FluH1N1_Clinic_11-21.pdf.