The county health clinics in Lexington and Richland counties all have H1N1 vaccine, available by appointment only. Call (803) 798-1102 in Richland County or (803) 791-3580 in Lexington County to set up an appointment.
Many private healthcare providers also have H1N1 vaccine, in either shot or nasal spray form. Check with your doctor.
If you don't have a personal physician, try calling Reliant Hospice in Columbia at (803) 798-1102. They are among the private providers listed on a flu vaccine-finder Web site.
Many private providers are charging $18 for the vaccine. The shots and spray are free at public clinics.
Resolve to run
A new event is joining the Columbia calendar - the Resolution Run.
The off-road race Jan. 2 includes a 10K run on the trails of Sesquicentennial State Park and a 3.5-mile walk on the Firebreak Loop trail. Both races start at 9 a.m.
The event is part of a new five-race Carolina Trail Championship Series staged at Sesqui, Harbison State Forest and Saluda Shoals Park.
Register online at strictlyrunning.com.
Babysitting class offered
Palmetto Health Baptist will offer Safe Sitters babysitting classes 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Dec. 29-30 at Palmetto Health Baptist Auditorium, 1501 Sumter St.
The two-day course, designed for ages 11 to 14, will provide information on childcare, basic life-saving techniques, safety precautions and how and when to call for help.
The class costs $50. For more information or to register, call (803) 296-2273.
Today is World AIDS Day, and Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services has scheduled a remembrance ceremony at 6 p.m. at the Cecil Tillis Center, 2111 Simpkins Lane, Columbia.
After the ceremony, experts from S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council will make presentations.
No admission is charged for the event.
Also, throughout the day, free or low-cost rapid tests for HIV will be offered in many of DHEC's county public health departments and community agencies.
For information about World AIDS Day events, call (800) 322-2437.In conjunction with World AIDS Day, New Life Productions will stage a presentation of "To Touch God's Hand" Dec. 4 at Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center, 2611 Grant St., Columbia.
The play by Leasharn M. Hopkins deals with the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. Tickets are $10.
Take a long run in the woods
There's a new event for REALLY healthy folks in the Midlands - a half marathon trail run at Harbison State Forest.
Called Rudolph's Rampage, the event is scheduled for Dec. 5. Runners will do two laps of a course that covers portions of the Firebreak, Stewardship and Midlands Mountain trails. That means lots of quick dips and some extended climbs and downhills.
For mountain bike enthusiasts (or gluttons who want to push themselves to the limit on foot and on a bike), the Race to the River 50-mile mountain bike race follows on Dec. 6 at Harbison.
For information or entry forms, go to cyclecenter.com.
Want to run farther?
If half a marathon isn't enough to quench your thirst for running, consider gathering some friends and signing up for another new event in South Carolina - the Palmetto 200.
It's a 200-mile relay race from Congaree National Park to Folly Beach. The inaugural Palmetto 200 is scheduled for April 30-May 1. Each 12-person team covers 36 relay legs from the swamp to the ocean.
For information, go online to palmetto200.com.
Learn about germs
EdVenture Children's Museum is conducting a series of free programs teaching parents and children how to stay healthy during the flu season and prevent spread of the disease.
Kathie Williams, EdVenture's health education manager, will teach the "Germs, Germs, Germs" programs at Richland County library branches.
The program will be offered:
Saturday: Northeast Regional Branch Library, 7490 Parklane Road, Columbia, 11 a.m.
Dec. 12: Sandhills Branch Library, 1 Summit Parkway, Columbia, 11 a.m.
Holiday volunteer possibility
If you have some musical talent and are looking for a way to give back to the community during the holiday season, consider spending a couple of hour playing holiday songs at Palmetto Health Cancer Center.
The center is looking for volunteers to play shifts of one or two hours through Christmas. Small musical combos or choral groups are welcome, and a piano is available. To volunteer, call (803) 434-2659,