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Swine Flu Vaccines Will Arrive on Capitol Hill Wednesday

Vaccines for the H1N1 virus will arrive on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, according to an advisory sent to staffers Tuesday evening.The Office of the Attending Physician will follow a “staged distribution— of the vaccines, first inoculating those people in high-risk groups. First up are employees who are pregnant, live with infants less than six months old, or are younger than 18 years old and have a chronic medical condition, according to the e-mailed advisory from Attending Physician Brian Monahan.“Initially, the OAP will only vaccinate those individuals who meet the target groups as identified above and have a Congressional identification card,— the e-mail reads. “All persons desiring to receive the novel H1N1 vaccine will need to state, by identifying their risk group on a vaccine form, that they meet one of the target groups.—The vaccines will be available in all OAP Health Units and First Aid Rooms. Once Monahan gets more vaccines, his office will offer them to more groups. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will determine how many vaccines the office gets.But “eventually anyone with a Congressional identification card will be able to receive the vaccine,— Monahan wrote in the advisory.So far, the Capitol has had relatively few publicly reported cases of the swine flu. A few Senate pages displayed symptoms in July, and 10 House pages are currently sick. But the pages, teenagers who answer phones and deliver messages for Members, have not been tested for the virus.Also recently, Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) had to cancel an event Monday on preventing swine flu because her daughter and husband became ill.

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