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Arkansas announces statewide school flu clinics

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By Eileen McGaurin

The first shipment of the H1N1 vaccine, 17,000 doses of the nasal flu mist form, have arrived in Arkansas and at-risk groups are moved to the front of the line, said Dr. James Phillips of the Arkansas Department of Health.

"We will be working to make sure the high priority groups that are most at risk for complications for H1N1 flu receive the vaccine first," said Phillips. "Children ages 6 months to 24 years are one of the priority groups.”

The initial vaccine supply will be for the first of the upcoming statewide flu clinics, to be ongoing for the next several months, said Phillips.

To find out when and where the vaccine will be available, Arkansans are encouraged to go to the ADH website at www.healthyarkansas.com  for details.

As more H1N1 vaccine becomes available, doses will be given to other priority groups, including pregnant women, health care workers and emergency medical responders.

Also included are people caring for infants under 6 months of age, and people ages 25-64 years with underlying health conditions, such as asthma and diabetes.

Pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions cannot receive the nasal flu mist, Phillips said.

"Initially, the doses of vaccine we receive will be in the nasal flu mist form but the Department expects to receive doses in the 'shot' form by mid-October,” said Phillips.

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