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Posted: October 7, 2009 1:19 p.m.

H1N1 vaccine to be available in Newton Friday

H1N1 nasal spray vaccine will be available for free at the Newton County Health Center, at 8203 Hazelbrand Road, on Friday.

The East Metro Health District, which consists of Gwinnet, Newton and Rockdale counties, has received 6,500 doses of nasal spray vaccine and will be distributing it to the counties’ health centers based on population and demand, said Suleima Salgado, EMHD public information officer.

Salgado said the EMHD’s primary focus for this initial supply is to vaccinate healthy children between the ages of two to four, but any healthy person between the ages of two to 49, excluding pregnant women, can receive the nasal form of the vaccine.

People seeking vaccines from the county health department should bring their insurance cards and information with them.

“We understand that this process may be frustrating, but we are asking the public to be patient with us.” Salgado said by e-mail. “We have been told that by the end of October or beginning of November, there will be ample supplies of H1N1 vaccine to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccination will be able to receive one.”

The public will also be able to get vaccines from private physicians and healthcare groups and from chain stores and pharmacies, like Kroger, Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, but these providers will charge administration fees, Salgado said.

Starting Thursday, people can get more information about nasal spray availability by calling the local health department at 770-786-9086, calling the EMHD office at 770-339-4260 and then pressing “1”, or by visiting emhd.com.

Salgado said she didn’t know how much vaccine Newton County would be receiving, and she didn’t know when the EMHD would be getting in more shipments.

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