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H1N1 vaccine will be available soon

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By Jesef Williams

Julie Graham can tell you about the nasty effects of H1N1, or swine flu.

The Van Wyck resident was diagnosed with the virus right after her two young children came down with it.

Her daughter, Rachel, 2, and 7-month-old son, Stuart, both experienced fatigue and high fever. Graham herself suffered from a high fever and a headache like she never felt before.

“It felt like I got hit by a brick wall,” Graham said. “My head hurt horribly.”

After suffering with the flu for more than a week, Graham said she and everyone else in her immediate family will definitely be getting the H1N1 vaccine, which will soon be available.

“I recommend the swine flu shot,” Graham said. “I’ve seen it first-hand. It really knocks you down. It’s a nasty flu.”

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced last week that it has starting receiving shipments of the vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.

More than 26,000 doses of the vaccine have arrived at various health departments throughout the state, said DHEC spokesman Adam Myrick.

However, no doses have been given yet, as officials will determine this week what locations will serve as sites for administering the shots. In the meanwhile, DHEC is ordering an additional 27,000 doses that will arrive soon, Myrick said.  

The first doses may be given as soon as this week.

“Some shipments have come in at different areas around the state,” he said. “More will be available as soon as more is alloted to us by the CDC.”

The doses in the initial shipment are nasal spray form, while doses in later shipments may be a combination of spray and injection form. Health officials expect to receive about two million total doses of the vaccine by the end of the year.

“We expect anybody in South Carolina who wants to get the vaccine to be able to get it,” Myrick said.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152