The Anchorage School District, scheduled to begin mass swine flu vaccinations for students in schools beginning Monday, will start with a less ambitious program than initially planned, due to insufficient vaccine supplies.
The district decided Wednesday to limit the first round to elementary school students instead of vaccinating high school and middle school students at the same time.
Vaccination of the older students will be pushed back to December, district officials said.
The district chose to start with elementary school kids because younger children are more at risk, and children aged 9 and under need two doses about a month apart, said district spokeswoman Heidi Embley.
The district will need to return to elementary schools for a second round in December, as well as adding the high schools and middle schools.
If the shipments of vaccine to Alaska pick up, the district will revise its plans.
Meantime, schools on the list for the first day are Airport Heights, Denali, Fairview and Lake Otis elementaries.
Each school will notify parents on the clinic dates scheduled for their school, officials said.
Parents must sign and return permission slips before a child can be vaccinated.
Shipments of vaccine are slower than expected all over the country. The problem is a that it takes longer to manufacture the vaccine than the experts thought it would take.