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San Diego Gets First Shipment Of Swine Flu Vaccine

The first 28,000 doses of H1N1 nasal spray vaccine have arrived or are on their way to San Diego County and will be distributed primarily to children, health officials said today.

About 26,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine will go to primary-care physicians' offices throughout San Diego County, according to Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the county's deputy public health officer.

Another 2,000 doses will be distributed at county public health centers.

"The best thing is for the public to call their health care provider, their pediatrician or family doctor, to see if they can get it there," Sidelinger said.

The initial doses of H1N1 nasal spray vaccine will be given to children 2-18 and caretakers of those under 6 months old who are healthy, according to Sidelinger.

By the end of the month, Sidelinger expects 410,900 doses of both the nasal and injectable versions of the H1N1 virus vaccine to arrive at clinics and health centers in San Diego County.

Weekly doses of the H1N1 vaccine will arrive for the next 10-12 weeks, maybe longer, he said.

Sidelinger said the vaccine will first be available to those with the highest risk of complications, then everyone else.

"Anyone who wants the H1N1 pandemic vaccine will be able to get it," he said.

Sidelinger sought to allay fears that the vaccine isn't safe.

"It is manufactured by the same companies and in the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine," he said. "It has gone through the same testing as the seasonal flu vaccine."

Sidelinger said each year there is a new vaccine for the seasonal flu because the strain changes.

To date, 290 people have been hospitalized in San Diego County due to the H1N1 virus and 22 have died, according to the HHSA.

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