First Swine Flu Vaccines Given in Kodiak

Jay Barrett/KMXT

The first immunizations against Swine Flu were given Monday here in Kodiak. The State of Alaska Public Health Center administered the 90 doses to preschool kids, age 2-to-4 on Monday afternoon.

The 90 nasal-mist doses were part of the first wave of Swine Flu vaccines to reach Alaska. The state limited the first batch to preschoolers, aged two-to-four-years, because they are at greater risk of needing hospitalization from the Swine Flu.

The second batch of Swine Flu vaccine for Alaska arrived in the state yesterday, according to Dawnell Smith of the State Department of Health and Social Services. Until more doses are available, they will be administered only to preschoolers, pregnant women, those who care for children too young to receive the vaccine and adults with underlying health concerns that might be complicated by the flu, as well as health care workers.

The state is no longer keeping track of all cases of the Swine Flu, and estimate that thousands of Alaskans have already contracted it, with just over 100 needing hospitalization. Five Alaskans are confirmed dead from the Swine Flu, also known as H-1-N-1 Flu.

State health officials think Swine Flu infections will peak earlier than the regular seasonal flu, which in Alaska spikes in February.

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