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Swine flu vaccine available for tots
Health department has limited supply
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Forsyth County News
The H1N1, or swine flu, nasal spray vaccine has arrived in Forsyth County, but don’t line up just yet.

Dave Palmer, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Public Health District 2, said the vaccine is being given only to children between ages 2 to 4.

“That’s the focus area right now, but we hope to be getting more vaccine pretty quick,” Palmer said. “We’ll expand that as we get more vaccine and then at some point in time this year, we’ll be getting the inject-able type of vaccine as well.

“When we get that, of course, we’ll need to start doing pregnant women and caregivers of infants and all of those people that fall in those priority groups.”

Palmer said the district received 2,700 of 3,300 expected doses this week and began giving them out. Each of the district’s 13 health departments, including Forsyth, received some.

The H1N1 mist has not yet been distributed to health care providers, Palmer said.

He explained that the spray can be given only to those between ages 2 and 49 who do not have chronic illnesses. The spray is also not given to women who are pregnant.

He said the seasonal flu shot has been available since last month.

“We still have some of the seasonal influenza vaccine for those who haven’t gotten that done yet,” he said. “They need to go ahead and have that vaccine and then, as we get the H1N1, they’ll have to come back in and get that vaccine.”

Palmer said patients can’t take the mists for both types of flu at the same time because they use live viruses. He said those who receive the nasal mist vaccinations may develop symptoms, but will not catch the flu.

“They take out the component that would give you the flu when they’re making the vaccine,” he said.