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H1N1 vaccine now available to the public

The Alabama Department of Health is offering H1N1 influenza vaccine to the entire community. Previously, the vaccine was restricted to those in priority groups at greatest risk of complications from the disease.

The Marengo County Health Department in Linden is offering the vaccine to those who want it. Those who plan to go to the Marengo County Health Department should call first at (334) 295-4205 to make sure a health worker will be available to give the vaccine.

In January, school-based clinics will be held for Alabama students ages 10 and older. Information packets will be sent to parents about a week before the vaccine is given. Parents have already been sent permission forms to allow or deny their children to get the vaccine.

Children under 10 years told need two doses of the vaccine about four weeks apart. During January and February, those students who were given the nasal mist vaccine during December will be offered the second dose.

Upcoming school clinics for children under 10 will use the nasal mist vaccine, whether it is their first or second dose.

Those children who are getting their first dose will need to get the second dose at their doctor’s office or at the Marengo County Health Department in Linden.

For more information, visit the Web site www.adph.org or call the Marengo County Health Department at (334) 295-4205.