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Eligibility criteria for the H1N1 vaccine expanded

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WINNIPEG — Not on the H1N1 priority list?

You might be now.

Lines are short at 12 city flu clinics this morning — which reopened today after health officials discovered they had more doses of the vaccine than they thought — so Winnipeg health officials have expanded the eligibility criteria for the H1N1 vaccine .

The new priority list includes: people under 65 with a chronic medical condition or other risk, anyone with a weakened immune system or those who live with and care for them, disadvantaged individuals, people who live in remote or isolated areas, single parents, and people who live with or care for infants under six months have been added to the priority list.

Others who can receive the vaccine are children aged six months to five years, anyone of aboriginal ancestry, and pregnant women.

The clinics will be open today and tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. to vaccinate people at high risk of becoming severely ill from H1N1 flu.

The opening comes just a day after flu clinics were tempor­arily suspended Tuesday when Winnipeg health officials ran short of the vaccine.

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority spokeswoman Heidi Graham said officials discov­ered extra doses were returned to the health region after clinics shut down. The doses were left over from clinics to immunize health-care workers and chil­dren. Children only require half a dose of the H1N1 vaccine.

Graham said Winnipeg ex­pects to receive another ship­ment of 8,000 doses of vaccine before the end of the week.

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