Schools, clinics waiting for H1N1 vaccine

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "We're gonna have enough vaccination so that anybody who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated," says State Health Officer, Dr. Don Williamson.

The State Health Department wants everyone to know--there's enough H1N1 vaccine to go around.

"We've never given in the state more than 1.2 million doses of seasonal influenza. So we're going to have twice as much vaccine as we've ever given before," says Williamson.

When all's said and done Williamson says Alabama will get 2.8 million doses of H1N1 nasal spray and injectable vaccines.

Unfortunately, it's not all going to arrive at the same time.

"A far more difficult and juggling process than any other influenza season we've ever dealt with," says Williamson.

About 30,000 doses of nasal spray vaccine will be here later this week.

By the end of October, 800,000 doses of nasal spray and injectable vaccine in the state.

Another 1.5 million will arrive by mid-December.  All doses should be in by January.

Dr. Williamson says smaller doctors' offices and schools will start getting the vaccine in late October.

That's good news for anxious parents.

"No doubt about it," says Kenya Williams.

With two small children he says the vaccine is a must.

"There's always a minimal risk with any vaccination, so I think it's worth the risk."

Still, others are weighing the pros and cons.

"We're gonna continue gathering information and as some areas get vaccinated, we'll kinda see what they see with it, and our plans could change.  But right now, I feel like it's the responsible thing to do," says Sandy McKinnon.

As far as any doses in Montgomery, Williamson doesn't believe there are any here yet.

He says they're going to start rolling in pretty fast in the next few weeks and he's not worried about running out.

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