Bay Co. Health Department Preparing the Community for H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans that shipping of vaccine to Panama City should start in October according to Dennis Cookro, Acting Director of the Bay County Health Department.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine when it first becomes available. These target groups include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people ages 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for H1N1 Swine Flu because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

“These groups have been identified because they are at greater risk of developing complications from the H1N1 Swine Flu. People over age 65 seem to have some immunity to this virus and so have not been included in the first tier priority group. The H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine will be distributed through schools, health care providers, and other community locations once it is available according to CDC recommendations” assures Cookro.

It is important to know the signs and symptoms of H1N1 Swine Flu - fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. “We are recommending that people continue to practice proven methods to prevent the spread of infection” says Cookro. “The most important step is to wash your hands for 20 seconds, or when soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer. Hand washing or use of hand sanitizer should occur frequently throughout the day.

Also everyone should cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue then discard the tissue, or cough/sneeze into your elbow; and refrain from touching eyes, nose and mouth. More obvious and very important is to stay home if you or your child is sick and avoid close contact with sick people” advises Cookro.
For More Information, go to:
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/general_info.htm

The Florida Department of Health’s website: www.myflusafety.com

The toll free Florida Flu Information Line, 1-877-352-3581, is available 24/7 for recorded messages, and operators are available 7am to 7pm central standard time.

Your local county health department: www.baycountyhealth.org or call 872-4455


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