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Snohomish County health officials could receive first H1N1 vaccines Friday

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — County health officials should be receiving their first shipment of H1N1 vaccine by Friday, Oct. 9.

As many as 7,200 doses of FluMist intranasal spray will be available to immunize health care providers and first responders who have direct contact with sick individuals, said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, medical director of the Snohomish County Health District.

"We need the health-care workforce and our first responders to be healthy and remain healthy to assist those who become ill," Goldbaum said in a statement Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The non-injectable spray will be offered to workers through the end of the weekend. Larger shipments of the injectable vaccine will be available by mid-October, health officials said.

Up to 100,000 doses of vaccine could be available to county health officials by the end of October.

Participating county clinics could have those subsequent doses of vaccine available to the public beginning Oct. 31 and again on Nov. 7.

The Everett Clinic, Providence Regional Medical Center, Cascade Valley Hospital, Stevens Hospital, Valley General Hospital and the Tulalip Health Clinic are slated to have the vaccine according to the statement.

Vaccines will be prioritized based on the health and age of individuals wanting to be immunized. For example, priority will be given to pregnant women and their households, children under six months of age, teachers and professional childcare providers and people ages 25-64 with chronic medical conditions.

All residents ages six months to 24 years will also have priority, health officials said.

"Continued shipments are expected through November, and there should be ample supply by December," Goldbaum said.

For more information, visit www.snocoflu.com or call 425-339-8627.

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