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H1N1 vaccine gradually arriving in Missouri

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A patient is injected as part of a clinical study of the H1N1 vaccine at Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development. UPI/Jeff Roberson

By Matt Sepic, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Vaccine for the new H1N1 swine flu virus is gradually becoming available in Missouri, but the state health department now says clinics will not receive the surge in supplies that they had expected to arrive in early November.

Spokesman Kit Wagar said the health department was not given a reason for the delay, but said the state has received about 84,000 as of late last week, and continues to get shipments.

He said drug makers are still producing seasonal flu vaccine, and are making the transition to H1N1.

"We're having a two-virus season, which is very unusual," Wagar said. "So because of that, vaccine makers shut down their production lines making the seasonal flu vaccine to gear up to make the H1N1 vaccine."

Wagar said once the H1N1 vaccine is more readily available, it will be given first to pregnant women and people who take care of infants.

The state has set up a flu hotline to answer questions from the public. The number is 1-877-FLU-4141.

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