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Williamson: Flu Vaccine May Arrive Too Late

By Associated Press

Birmingham, AL – State health officials say Alabama's swine flu season may have peaked by the time vaccine to protect against the new H1N1 virus becomes widely available.

Swine flu vaccine is supposed to be available in limited doses starting next month, which likely will precede the virus' widespread circulation in the Northeast and much of the United States. But swine flu already is widespread in Alabama and much of the Southeast, largely because of the states' early school start.

State Health Officer Don Williamson told a crowd at University of Alabama at Birmingham Wednesday that this could deter people from getting vaccinated.

But Williamson warns that the new virus could come back in a third wave next spring, following the pattern of the 1918 pandemic.

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