County requests H1N1 vaccine for clinics

The Milam County Health Department has formally put in a request for H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine and will schedule free flu shot clinics once the long-awaited vaccine arrives.

Shots will be free when provided by the health department, according to Michelle Ferguson, public health preparedness coordinator for the county health department.

"Of course we can't speak for the private providers, the hospitals and clinics, that's a different situation," Ferguson said. "But the H1N1 shots provided by our department will be free of charge.

When will the vaccine arrive?

"We don't know," Ferguson said. "Just as soon as it arrives we will begin scheduling clinics and we will prioritize them, according to the groups deemed highest at-risk for contacting H1N1

Those groups are: • Pregnant women.

• Health care workers. • Persons with children under six or in contact with children under six. "Those under six cannot receive the vaccine," Ferguson said.

Immunizing the people around them is the best way to protect those children.

• Children and young adults ages 6 to 24.

• Persons with pre-existing medical conditions.

The Huntsville ISD in east central Texas is closed until Thursday due to an outbreak of flu.

Many students and staff members were absent due to illness and flu-related concerns.

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