Three clinics to distribute the seasonal flu vaccine are scheduled for this week in Columbia County, but officials were unsure last week if any vaccine would be available.
Clinics planned last week for Evans Middle and Harlem Middle schools had to be cancelled when the county Health Department ran out of the vaccine.
More cancellations might be coming.
"The Health Department is cancelling the seasonal flu clinics week by week," county Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker said. Cancellations for the coming week were to be announced Friday.
Tucker was unsure when vaccines for the novel A H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as swine flu, might become available.
However, about 100,000 injectable doses and about 130,000 nasal doses of the H1N1 vaccine were sent to Georgia hospitals last week and another 100,000 injectable doses are expected to arrive this week, according to an article in The Augusta Chronicle .
Of the nasal vaccine, 54,800 doses were sent to public health departments and districts with the remainder going to private providers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that vaccine likely will become more widely available at the end of the month.
The initial doses of H1N1 vaccine are being reserved for high-risk patients, which includes pregnant women, parents of children younger than 6 months old, those ages 6 months to 24 years old, and those ages 25 to 64 years old afflicted with such high-risk conditions as asthma and diabetes.
Summer Rockefeller, a 10-year-old Harlem resident, recently became the area's first H1N1 fatality. She died on Oct. 10 while battling the illness at an Atlanta children's hospital.
A spaghetti supper fundraiser to help Summer's parents defray some of the costs of her medical treatment will be held Nov. 5 at Harlem Baptist Church. Meal tickets cost $7 and are available in advance at the church, Sunrise Grill locations in Martinez and North Augusta, Whitaker Electric in Harlem, Harlem Middle School and Euchee Creek Elementary, where Summer was a fifth-grader.
To locate a vaccine provider, look online at http://health.state.ga.us/h1n1flu/.
For information on vaccine availability, call the Health Department at (706) 868-3330, (706) 541-1318, or (706) 556-3727.
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