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EARLIER: H1N1 vaccine arrives in Shelby

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By Lisa King

The H1N1 flu vaccine is now available in Shelbyville, health department officials said Thursday.

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"I just got a shipment in yesterday and have sent it out to the hospital  [Jewish Hospital Shelbyville] and various physicians here in Shelbyville," said Renee Blair, executive director of the North Central District Health Department.

Blair said that some places, such as the hospital, only are inoculating their health-care workers.

Mary Limke, R.N., infectious control employee health nurse at Jewish Hospital, said Thursday that she had given out more than 50 vaccinations to hospital employees.

"It will be available soon for everybody, we hear," she said.

Blair confirmed that opinion.

"The priorities for physicians right now are the high-risk groups, the prenatals, the health-care providers and people from ages 2 to 49 with underlying medical conditions," she said.

Blair said that people can get a shot at the health department while supplies last. "We expect to get more shipments in soon," she said.

Limke said that parents should know that children under 6 months old should not be inoculated and that people between the ages of 6 months and 25 years old require two H1N1 shots.

"They should get one, and then the next one three weeks later, because they don't have natural immunities built up yet," she said.

There have been no confirmed H1N1 cases in Shelby County, but Kentucky is one of the states in which the disease is considered to be widespread. There has been at least one confirmed death in the counties surrounding Shelby, and there have been heavy outbreaks and even school closings in some counties.

For more information, call the health department at 633-1243.