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Arlington Moves Toward Vaccinating First Graders Against H1N1

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First-graders in Arlington, Virginia could start getting school-wide H1N1 vaccinations as early as this Friday.
Centers for Disease Control
First-graders in Arlington, Virginia could start getting school-wide H1N1 vaccinations as early as this Friday.

First-graders in Arlington, Virginia could start getting school-wide H1N1 vaccinations as early as this Friday. That's something that's been on hold as the county health department deals with the vaccine shortage.

Congressman Jim Moran, of Arlington, said he's heard complaints about the vaccine shortage, but he said there's also a shortage of communication that's made getting a shot confusing. "Some parents let me know their particular elementary school didn't have the vaccine and there was one school that had an actual epidemic, and yet they didn't have the vaccine available," said Moran.

Arlington's public health director says the county has the doses needed to start vaccinating in schools as early as Friday. They'll start with first-graders, then move up to higher grades. Consent forms went out in October, and federal health leaders are now explaining to Congress the reason for the delay.

"With 20-20 hindsight, it's clear we should have been more skeptical about the projections being made," said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Frieden says the H1N1 flu virus spreads quickly among the public, but grows slowly in the lab.

Megan Hughes reports...

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