Still Time to Get H1N1 Flu Vaccine

Bay County – It is not too late to protect yourself against the H1N1 Flu by getting a vaccination.

There will be a H1N1 vaccination clinic Thursday, March 11, 2010 from 1:00pm until 7:00pm at the health department located at 597 W. 11th Street. No appointment is necessary and the vaccination is free. Parents of children ages 9 and younger are encouraged to bring their child to this clinic if they have not yet received their second H1N1 vaccination. The two doses should be given at least 28 days apart. The Department of Health recommends that everyone get vaccinated, even if they believe they have already contracted H1N1. Unless a person has had a laboratory confirmed case of H1N1, they cannot be certain they had H1N1.

Each week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzes information about influenza disease activity in the United States and publishes findings of key flu indicators in a report called FluView. During the week of February 21 -27, 2010, most key flu indicators remained about the same as during the previous week. Even though visits to doctors for influenza-like illness (ILI) decreased nationally, Region 4 reported elevated ILI. Region 4 is comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity, caused by either 2009 H1N1 or seasonal flu viruses, may rise and fall, but is expected to continue for weeks. It is possible that the United States could experience another wave of flu activity caused by either 2009 H1N1 or seasonal influenza. CDC recommends influenza vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu. CDC is encouraging anyone who wants to protect themselves against 2009 H1N1 to get vaccinated.

According to a press release from the Bay County Health Department says, "Fighting H1N1 Flu is a three-step approach: 1) get a vaccination, 2) practice everyday prevention (including frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick), and 3) use antiviral drugs correctly if your health professional recommends them."

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