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State Health Department Is Readying Flu Vaccination Program

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Department of Public Health is preparing for the largest vaccination program in state history.

The health department says the H1N1 virus, often called swine flu, is likely to surge again and could double the number of flu-related deaths this season.

The state should start receiving doses of the swine flu vaccine in the fall and should eventually have enough to give everyone two doses.

State Health Officer Don Williamson said schools will play a big role in containing the virus.

Williamson said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has issued new guidelines for closing schools.

Those guidelines say schools should stay open unless a large number of students become ill or if there are a large number particularly at risk for complications.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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