Soldiers get mass H1N1 shots before holidays

Thousands to be given vaccines before going on leave, officials say


FORT JACKSON, S.C. – Thousands of Army recruits in training have to line up at least once more before heading home for the holidays — for mass inoculations of hundreds at a time against swine flu.

The Army’s largest training camp, just outside Columbia, and other posts are hurrying to finish the shots before the year-end break. More than 40,000 soldiers in advanced and basic training across the country head home over the next two weeks in a massive troop movement known as “block leave,” Army officials said.

“We have been very aggressive in trying to assure the safety of our soldiers,” said Maj. Soo Hee Kim-Delio, the Army physician in charge of the inoculations at Fort Jackson. “Our basic training population is at particularly high risk.”…

…Fort Jackson started the shots about two weeks ago and expects to vaccinate as many as 9,000 soldiers by the end of this week and another 2,000 by the middle of next week. The trainers who remain on post, the Army’s medical work force, family members, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma also will get the shots for a total of about 15,000 doses, Kim-Delio said…

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