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— The H1N1 flu vaccines will be available for the Oct. 19 and 20 flu clinics at the Decatur School Districts, but the quantities may be limited.

Students can receive the seasonal flu vaccine along with the H1N1 flu vaccine for free as part of the Arkansas Department of Health’s first ever state-wide school vaccination program.

The health department will allot the Decatur School District a certain amount of H1N1 flu vaccines, school nurse Jackee Eaton said. There may not be enough H1N1 vaccines for all the students. If the amount of vaccines is limited, it will be the school’s priority to vaccinate the youngest children because they are in the highest risk group, Eaton said.

Eaton said she does know that the H1N1 flu vaccine will be in the nasal mist form. The injectable form of the vaccine has not yet been released.

The nasal-mist form of the H1N1 contains the live weakened virus, while the injectable form contains a dead virus.

The Arkansas Department of Health orders the maximum amount of H1N1 flu vaccine available each week, according to a press release.

“To date, the amounts actually available have been considerably smaller thanexpected. Therefore, it is hard to know exactly how much Arkansas will receive and when it will come in,” the release states.

Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone, but high risk groups will be targeted first.

School children are one of the priority groups, and they will be targeted first through the statewide school flu clinics, accordingto the release.

Decatur school officials sent permission slips home with children for both the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. Eaton is urging parents to return the permission slips to school as soon as possible if they want their child to be vaccinated so the health department will have an estimate of how much vaccine will be needed.

News, Pages 1 on 10/14/2009

Print Headline: Flu vaccines coming to schools

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