MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State Health Officer Don Williamson says the first doses of swine flu vaccine should begin arriving in Alabama by the end of this week and adequate supplies are expected to be available by the end of October.
During the first week in October approximately 51,000 doses of H1N1 live virus nasal mist influenza vaccine are expected to be delivered to Alabama for distribution to health care providers for targeted at-risk populations. By Nov. 1 the state of Alabama should receive approximately 500,000 doses of vaccine.
Williamson said at a news conference Monday the state continues to see an elevated number of influenze-like illnesses.
Williamson said 10 percent of patients at doctor's offices are reporting flu-like symptoms and that about 5 percent of school children are missing class because of the flu.
Eight deaths in Alabama have been attributed to the swine flu. Deaths have occurred in residents of Bullock, Dale, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Macon, Montgomery and Russell counties.
State health officials are manning a toll free influenza hot line - 877-377-7285 - from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer questions about the flu.