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Swine vaccine is now available

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By The Staff

The Levy County Health Department received its first shipment of H1N1 (Swine) flu vaccines — approximately 1,600 doses — late Tuesday, Oct. 13, and will make it available on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

While more shipments are expected, the vaccine is in limited supply, so the Health Department is following vaccination recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Those recommendations call for the initial vaccination efforts to focus on five target groups:

• Pregnant women

• People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age

• Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel

• Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years

    • People ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for complications because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems (due to medical therapy or disease)

    Individuals who fall into the above categories are encouraged to call the health department to schedule an appointment for H1N1 vaccination. The health department anticipates offering the nasal spray at schools and daycares. The H1N1 vaccine is free and voluntary.

    The Health Department will expand to include the general public when more vaccine becomes available.