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State orders first shipment of H1N1 vaccine

Statewide distribution is planned

(Anchorage, AK) - The state of Alaska has been authorized by the federal government to order its first shipment of H1N1 vaccine. The state was allocated 4,200 doses of nasal spray vaccine and has placed an order for the entire amount. The nasal spray vaccine is expected to arrive at the state's distribution center in Anchorage by early the week of Oct. 5. Statewide distribution is expected to begin by the week of Oct. 12.

This is only the first shipment of what will become a steadily increasing supply of both nasal and injectable vaccine within the next month. The state will ultimately receive enough vaccine for every person in the state who wants to be vaccinated.

The initial shipment of vaccine is to be distributed statewide based on a community's population. Shipments will go to the state public health centers, the Municipality of Anchorage, Maniilaq Association, North Slope Borough Health & Social Services Agency and Norton Sound Health Corporation for use in children 2-4 years old. Epidemiological evidence suggests that children in this age range are at increased risk for hospitalization compared to older children. Nasal spray vaccine is not licensed for use in children younger than 2 or in two other priority groups - adults with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women.

Recipients will determine the best method locally to get the vaccine to children ages 2-4 in their community.

For a complete listing of our public health centers go to: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/nursing/locations.htm.

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