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Preparing for the Swine Flu

A new string of the H1N1 "Swine Flu" virus is expected to resurface this fall and the government is taking proactive measures to keep the epidemic at a minimum.

Several school districts are planning to offer free vaccinations and some states will administer Swine flu centers to keep hospitals from overcrowding. While there is no standard response for all states, city health officials in each jurisdiction are responsible for shaping its own plans for dealing with the virus.

Vaccinations are expected to be available as early as mid October, but there's a limited number of vaccines that will be released. The government has issued a federal priority list for those eligible to receive the vaccine. This list includes: health workers, pregnant women, people 6 months to 24 years old, family members of or people who work with children less than 6 months old and some people with chronic health conditions.

If you don't fall in any of the listed categories, then expect to receive a shot some time in November, if at all. Health officials are encouraging people to get the traditional flu shots which are currently being administered. There are also a list of things you can do to prevent yourself from catching and spreading the H1N1 virus:
  1. Wash hands frequently
  2. Clean surface areas often
  3. Sneeze into the sleeve of your shirt instead of your hands
  4. If feeling sick, stay home and seek medical treatment
Consult with your primary physician for immunization questions, or stay updated with the latest flu information at