First H1N1 vaccine doses arrive by week's end - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

First H1N1 vaccine doses arrive by week's end

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- The vaccine for the H1N1 virus is rolling off the assembly line faster than expected and now Siouxland states are getting ready.

Iowa health officials expect to receive the first doses of the H1N1 virus within the next couple of days and hope to distribute it to counties by the end of next week.

Once the vaccine reaches the counties, it will be up to local health care providers to decide who receives it, since the state no longer tracks individual cases.

Don Callahan, the head of Iowa's Immunization Program, says if you're considered at "high risk" for catching H1-N1, you should take advantage of the free vaccine.

Callahan says, "I think the vaccine is a very safe and effective vaccine. It's very similar to the seasonal flu vaccine, so people should not have fear that this is a new product."

One major area of concern is college campuses. The H1N1 virus has shown up at schools across the country, some colleges even have sectioned off living quarters for those infected.

Callahan says college students will be able to receive the vaccine wherever they're attending school.

"We are not recommending anybody to go back to their hometown in order to receive the vaccine or in the county they have their residence in," Callahan said.

Nebraska is also preparing to receive about 10,000 doses by early next week.

This first round of doses is just a small shipment, with about six million going out nationwide. In mid-October, the federal government expects to send out an additional forty million doses, followed by ten to twenty million every week after that.

When it's all said and done, officials say every American will have the opportunity to get the vaccine.

Online Reporter: Zach Tecklenburg

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