Two area communities are gearing up for the distribution of vaccination against the H1N1 virus, or swine flu.
BRIDGEPORT: The first shipment of 400 doses of the H1N1 intra-nasal vaccine has arrived, and is available for high-risk priority groups.
The first vaccination clinic in Bridgeport is set for Friday for EMS workers, health-care professionals and children 2 to 4 years. It will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Department of Health, 752 East Main St.
Qualifying residents can make an appointment by calling the city’s Flu Clinic Hotline, 203-576-8242. Eligibility to receive flu vaccine will be determined at the time an appointment is made.
FAIRFIELD: The town’s Health Department will set up a phone bank next week to take appointments for the swine flu vaccine. The vaccinations available through the town are free, and Easton residents are eligible as well as Fairfielders.
But the first batch of the vaccine will be the live variety, said Health Director Sands Cleary, which can be administered only to a restricted population. Those who cannot be given the live vaccine are pregnant women or people with certain medical conditions, including asthma and diabetes. Children 9 years old and younger will require two doses a month apart.
The town expects to get a total of 700 doses of the live vaccine, and should receive the injectable vaccine within the next few weeks.
The phone bank will screen callers to make sure they are eligible to receive the nasal-spray vaccine. Eligibility will be by priority groups established by the federal Centers for Disease Control.
The vaccine will be given to those who fall into the following groups:
Household contacts and caregivers of children less than 6 months old; healthy children 24 months through 59 months old; health-care workers in acute care settings, and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact and transport.
Cleary said residents should also check with the private physician for vaccines.
To check eligibility for one of the flu priority groups, call the Fairfield Flu Line at 203-356-3083 from 3 to 7 p.m. next Tuesday only. Callers who meet the criteria will be given an appointment.