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Vaccine here for high-risk groups

The Butler County Health Department will be offering swine flu vaccines on-site Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for high-risk groups only.

The vaccine, in injectable form, will be offered only to pregnant women; children 6 months though four years old; parents, siblings and caregivers of children less than 6 months old; children five to 18 years old who have underlying medical conditions; and health care workers, said health officials on Wednesday.

“We encourage people to take advantage of it and get the vaccine if that’s what they want to do,” said Ziba Anderson, health department administrator. “We will have enough to provide for the priority groups, until we run out.”

Anderson said as more vaccine becomes available, health officials would be able to provide those for the general public.

“We anticipate being able to move into the school system and provide vaccine there by the end of November,” he said.

The number of vaccine doses sent to each county health department has been allocated based on population, said state health officials.

“We must target our limited amounts of vaccine to individuals at the highest risk because of the uncertainties in supply we face,” Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer, said. “We ask for your support and understanding at this time.”