Jackson County Health Department Now Offering Swine Flu Vaccine

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Jackson County Health Department officials began offering the "FluMist" nasal spray form of the swine flu vaccine today, at no charge to most patients.
There have been nine confirmed swine flu cases in Jackson County, so far, but none have required hospitalization.
But health officials are still encouraging everyone to take advantage of the voluntary service.

As you can see from this demonstration, getting the swine flu vaccine isn't so painful.
It's currently available to anyone between the ages of 2 to 49 years old.
The Jackson County Health Department is targeting their daycare population first.
"Because infants less than six months of age are not able to take the vaccine, it's not licensed for them, we're trying to cover them by covering others that are around them and care for them," says Nursing Director Julie McKinney.
The "FluMist" nasal spray is the first form of the swine flu vaccine available.
Health officials still recommend getting the vaccine even though it's not mandatory.
"You can receive the FluMist with a seasonal flu shot or either you can receive it by itself."
But McKinney says the vaccine is only the first step in protecting yourself against the swine flu.
"I think the best thing we can learn from all this flu is to wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!"
They also encourage staying home if you're sick and using antiviral drugs properly.
The Jackson County Health Department plans to administer the vaccine to all public and private schools soon.
But they don't anticipate more than 50% will ask for it.
"Mainly because we have offered the flu vaccine for many years, the seasonal flu, which we had maybe 40% respond to that."
McKinney says they plan to offer the H1N1 vaccine service until January 2010.

The Health Department should receive the injectable form of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine in the next few weeks.
If you are in the Jackson County area and would like to make an appointment, please call (850)-526-2412.


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