KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Health Department is preparing for battle this flu season.

According to administrator Andrew Root, the health department will fight swine flu by organizing vaccine clinics and school clinics.

“As of last week, we’ve had two confirmed cases, one back in the summer and one recently,” said Root, who added that there are also several suspected cases of H1N1. “Anything now that’s coming back positive for type-A influenza they’re assuming is H1N1.” Root also said that there have been several of those cases in the school system.

The health department has organized vaccine clinics for at-risk groups, including children 6 months to 4 years old, anyone 5 to 24 years old with chronic medical conditions, care givers of infants under 6 months, day care providers, health care providers, first responders and pregnant women.

These clinics are scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The vaccine will also be available during the regular immunization clinic every Tuesday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. for these groups.

Root said the health department is also planning on setting up school clinics, but delays in receiving the vaccine have postponed these plans. “It’s going to be a week-to-week basis to see what we have,” said Root. “We’re working with the school board and the superintendent of schools in terms of how we’re going to go about determining the sites.”

Root said that he wasn’t going to discuss which schools would offer the vaccines first, but it would depend on when the vaccine is available. When the clinics are set up, permission slips will be sent home with children for parents to fill out and return.

Contact Cory Galliher at cgalliher@times-news.com.

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