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High-priority groups receive H1N1 vaccine in Wadena

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An H1N1 vaccine clinic was held in Wadena-Deer Creek Memorial Auditorium Monday afternoon.

There wasn't enough for everyone so doses were prioritized, County Public Health Director Karen Nelson said. Eligible recipients were children ages 6 months to age 9 and children ages 10 to 18 who are high risk. The scheduling was done by appointment so people wouldn't have to wait and so there would be proper staffing, she said. Doses were distributed at other schools in the county as well.

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More vaccine will be coming into the county, Nelson said.

"We hope to have enough for everyone by the time we're done," she said.

The Minnesota Department of Health expanded its H1N1 vaccine recommendations Tuesday to all of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's priority groups. The vaccine efforts have focused on limited groups who faced the highest risks, according to an MDH press release, but now Kris Ehresmann, director of the MDH infectious disease division, said it's possible to begin ordering and providing vaccine for the entire list of priority groups. Vaccine availability in the state is increasing.

"We have ordered almost one million doses of vaccine to date," Ehresmann said in the release. "We think the supply is now sufficient to begin offering vaccine to all of the high priority groups in the next few weeks."

People for whom the vaccine will be targeted include those who are:

• Age 6 months through 24 years, with or without a health condition that puts them at higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

• Age 25 years through 64 years with a chronic medical condition that puts them at higher risk of medical complications from influenza.

• Pregnant women.

• Health care providers or emergency medical services personnel.

• Living with or caring for children under 6 months of age.

Local health agencies and health care providers are expected to make public announcements as more vaccine becomes available, according to the MDH.

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