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— Everyone can receive a vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu and seasonal flu this Friday, until supplies run out.

The Benton County Health Unit will host a second mass flu clinic at the same location as the first one at Eastgate Church of Christ, 1997 U.S. Highway 412 East, in Siloam Springs.

The clinic will open at 9 a.m. and run until 4:30 p.m. Friday, said Loy Bailey, director of Benton County Health Unit.

“Everyone will be vaccinated,” he said.

The state and nation have seen a slight decline in swine flu cases recently, Bailey said. But he recommends that everyone get vaccinated for both the seasonal and swine flu even if they think they’ve already had the flu.

Vaccines will be free at the clinic, and Bailey said he is uncertain how many vaccines will be available.

Those with insurance should bring their insurance card so the health unit can recoup some of its costs, Bailey said. But those without insurance will not be turned away.

Volunteers are needed to help with paper work and crowd control.

Those interested in volunteering can call the local health clinic at 549-3794 or the Bentonville clinic at 271-1055.

Only mass flu clinics in Rogers and Siloam Springs will be hosted in Benton County this time. Previously, a third clinic was in Bella Vista.

“We’re preparing for another heavy turnout,” Bailey said.

The clinic will be indoors like the previous one.

Many who received flu vaccines in theprevious mass clinic waited in long lines outside until they were able to get indoors.

“We’ll just try to do our best to work people though,” Bailey said.

Children 10 and younger who need a second dose of H1N1 vaccine can receive it Friday, Bailey said. The health unit recommends these children to receive a second dose.

Also, those 9 and younger who’ve never had a seasonal flu vaccine should also get a second dose.

But, he said children must wait at least four weeks between the first and second doses of both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines.

Siloam Springs schools hosted flu shot clinics the week of Nov. 16, about three weeks ago.

Joey Cox, nursing supervisor for Siloam Springs School District, said it would be too soon for students who’d received vaccines then to get their second doses this Friday.

However, she recommends that the fourth and fifth grade students who did not receive their seasonal flu vaccine at the school clinic to go to the mass clinic Friday.

Pupils in those grades didn’t get the vaccines because the school ran out, Cox said. Those students did receive the H1N1 vaccine.

A second flu shot clinic in the schools is unlikely for this year, she said.

Benton County Health Unit hosted the first mass flu shot clinic in Siloam Springs this year on Oct. 30.

Nearly 1,800 flu vaccines were given at the clinic.

Only people considered high risk were able to receive an H1N1 vaccine then.

Regular flu season runs from late November through March.

News, Pages 12 on 12/09/2009

Print Headline: Flu shots to be offered Friday

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