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Health centers run out of swine flu vaccine
More supplies expected in coming weeks

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale health departments have exhausted their initial supply of the H1N1 influenza vaccine, officials announced Wednesday.

On Saturday, the East Metro Health District, which serves the three counties, opened its five clinics to provide the nasal spray vaccination for the swine flu.

"Over 1,900 doses of nasal spray were provided on Saturday alone," said Suleima Salgado, spokeswoman for the East Metro Health District. "We were very happy to meet the needs of the community and provide the vaccine to those who were interested."

Additional shipments of vaccine will be slowly arriving over the next few weeks and months and will become more widely available at health department clinics, doctors' offices, walk-in clinics, pharmacies and other sites within the community, Salgado said.

Once additional vaccine arrives, the health departments in East Metro will continue to offer the vaccine to those who fall into the priority groups recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"As vaccine supplies become more readily available, additional Saturday clinics will be considered," Salgado said. "This vaccination campaign is expected to last many weeks and possibly months."

The community is encouraged to be patient as vaccine continues to arrive. In the meantime, people should follow basic preventative steps to avoid the spread of germs.

For more information, call the Georgia H1N1 Hotline at 888-H1N1-INFO (888-416-1463) or visit www.gwinnetthealth.com for vaccine availability.