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— Arkansas began receiving its first batches of the H1N1 flu vaccine last week, said Dr. James Phillips, chief of the infectious disease branch of the Arkansas Department of Health.

“We are receiving 17,000 doses of H1N1 flu mist vaccine,” Phillips said in a news release, noting that the state Department of Health will work to make sure highrisk groups, especially children between 6 months old and 24 years old, receive the vaccinations first.

To make sure children are vaccinated first, the Department of Health will host statewide school flu clinics over the course of the next several months, with any additional doses being used to first vaccinate other priority groups, Phillips said.

Those groups include pregnant women, people age 25 to 64 with underlying health conditions,health-care workers, emergency responders and those caring for infants younger than 6 months old.

The initial doses of the H1N1 vaccine are the flu mist.

H1N1 flu shots are not expected to arrive until mid-October, Phillips said.

“We are asking people to be patient as the supplies begin to build up.

We are expecting to get more supplies of vaccine over the next few weeks,” Phillips said in the release. “There will eventually be enough for everyone who wants it.” Symptoms of the H1N1 flu include a fever higher than 100 degrees, a cough, a sore throat, a runny nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. The virus is spread person to person through coughing or sneezing.

For more information about the H1N1 flu, its vaccine or the statewide school flu clinics, visit healthyarkansas.com.

News, Pages 3 on 10/14/2009

Print Headline: H1N1 flu vaccine arrives in Arkansas

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