Russell County getting ready for swine flu vaccines - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Russell County

Russell County getting ready for swine flu vaccines

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -  In late October, 600,000 H1N1 vaccines are set to get handed out in Alabama. After that 300,,000 shots will be sent to the state every two weeks to help combat the virus.

There have been 1300 confirmed swine flu cases in Alabama- three from Russell County.

Members of the Russell County Health Department, Emergency Management, Red Cross, law enforcement and schools met Thursday to address how the shots will be handed out locally.

They're working to make sure that target groups get the vaccine first.

"What we are looking at is children 6-24 years of age, first responders and health professionals, pregnant women, people 25-64 that have underlying health issues. The reason for this is, it's felt that if we can stop people from being infected, then we can stop the spread of the virus," explained Johnny Burrell with the Russell County Health Department.

Part of that plan includes public school students.

"We are going to be meeting next week to look at a team and the best way to get that implemented. The thing, however, that is key is that parents will have to be willing to give permission for their children to take the shots," said Dr. Yvette Richardson, Superintendent of Russell County schools.

Once the target group is reached, the 2-part vaccines will be available to everyone else.

"We've formulated a plan. We've completed a plan and we stand ready and prepared to serve the people of Russell County if the H1N1 becomes a pandemic," added William Alexander, Director of the Russell County Emergency Management Agencies.

Russell County health officials say the state and federal government are footing the bill for the shots.

As for now, there will be no charge for the vaccine at the Health Department or to students.

If you use a private provider, you will want to check with them on the cost.

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