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H1N1 Vaccine Trickles Into MN - Experts Offer Advice While Families Wait

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October 15, 2009

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The first round of H1N1 influenza vaccines will be making the way to pediatric clinics this week, but the Minnesota Health Department says those vaccines are earmarked for high-risk patients. Until supply catches up with demand, says Sue Molstad, parent referral coordinator with The Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network, providers and parents need to work together to stage a healthy defense for the flu season. That would include frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and disinfecting toys.

"Child care is a critical piece for our economy, for working families. We need to be proactive in planning for what will happen if H1N1 breaks out."

Molstad encourages parents and employers to be mindful of child care policies for a sick child.

"Parents need to understand how they might feel, you know, if a child came into a child care setting that had a virus that spread through that setting, and if they did the same thing they'd be putting all children at risk."

Molstad says it's vital to have a good backup plan for care in case your child does get sick.

The federal government says Minnesota can order another 30,000 doses this week. Approximately half of that allotment will be given to very young children and people with underlying health conditions that might make them more susceptible to complications of flu.

By early November, The Minnesota Health Department predicts, there will be enough vaccine available that parents should have no problem getting their child an appointment for a flu shot, if they decide that's the best health option for their family.

Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MN