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Hartselle Enquirer

H1N1 vaccine sent back

Remember all the uproar over H1N1, also known as swine flue, last year? Worried about a pandemic, health department officials and medical offices ordered thousands of doses of the vaccine. When the pandemic didn’t pan out, medical providers were stuck with all that vaccine.
Now, the Alabama Department of Public Health is assisting providers in returning that vaccine to the federal government through what’s known as the H1N1 Vaccine Recovery Program. Information on the program has been sent to medical providers who ordered H1N1 vaccine through the health department.
The vaccine will be returned in two phases. The first is for vaccine that has now expired. That vaccine originated from three different pharmaceutical companies and involves some 78,000 doses that will be returned to the federal government.
The second phase involves vaccine from a fourth pharmaceutical company and will be returned last this summer.
This will involve some 92,000 doses.
The new seasonal influenza vaccine will become available in late August and early September. The 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine will have the normal number of three flu strains, one of which will be H1N1 A/California. Individuals who were vaccinated with H1N1 vaccine will still need to be vaccinated with the seasonal flu vaccine to have protection from all three strains that are expected to be circulating during the next flu season.

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