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Students offered H1N1 vaccines
Event Wednesday at North Forsyth High
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Forsyth County News

• For pre-vaccination information, directions and required paperwork, go online at

• For questions, contact the Forsyth County Health Department at (770) 781-6900.
To help some of those at higher risk of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, the Forsyth County Health Department is teaming up with the local school system to offer a couple free vaccination events.

The first of the two offerings, both of which are for children ages 3 to 18, is Wednesday at North Forsyth High School’s cafeteria.

The second is Dec. 15 at Forsyth Central High’s west campus. Both will run from 4 to 7 p.m.

“We’re trying to get the word out so everyone is aware,” said Nancy Rithmire, head nurse for Forsyth County Schools.

Many of the district’s 35 school nurses are volunteering to administer the free vaccinations during both events, she said.

While there have been some reports of seasonal flu nationwide, the majority of recent flu cases have been the H1N1 strain, a form of Type A influenza.

As of Dec. 1, there had been 681 hospitalizations for H1N1 and 39 deaths in Georgia, according to state statistics.

Dave Palmer, spokesman for District 2 Public Health, said it’s recommended that children under 9 years old get two H1N1 shots 30 days apart.

The efficacy rate is about 55 percent with one dose, but with two doses, increases to about 90 percent.

The youth vaccination events will be handled on a first-come-first-serve basis, Rithmire said. She warned that children who are very ill or have Gentamycin allergies shouldn’t be vaccinated.

“We would like to have every student that is interested in receiving it,” she said. “We want to protect our students and our community.”

Adults who are considered high risk can stop by the health department during normal business hours for the shot.

Given the department’s limited supply, however, officials ask that only those considered a high-risk priority get the vaccination.

The priority list, determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, includes pregnant women, 6-month-olds to 24-year-olds and caregivers or people who live with babies 6 months old or younger.

The list also includes health care and emergency patient care workers and 25- to 64-year-olds with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, respiratory conditions, heart disease and immunosuppressive disorders.