H1N1 vaccines provided to target groups in Polk County

Published 11:19 pm Monday, November 16, 2009

By November 9, 2009 Polk County Health Department had administered 120 H1N1 nasal flu mists and 412 H1N1 injections. These immunizations have been given to pregnant women, children, young adults under 24 years of age, health care workers, and people who care for or live with infants younger than 6 months of age.

Healthy people ages 25 through 49 years of age are being offered the H1N1 flu mist now. People ages 25 through 64 years of age with chronic health conditions are being offered the H1N1 injections. Limited shipments of vaccines are received weekly. There are physicians offices and pharmacies in the county that have received limited supply of vaccines also.

Influenza vaccines are important in preventing people from getting the flu virus, but there are other methods also to help prevent the spread of influenza to others. Some of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of flu are:

Wash your hands often! Especially after you cough or sneeze

If you dont have access to soap and water, alcohol based cleaners are also&bsp; effective.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

If you do not have a tissue, cough into your sleeve, not your hands.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Avoid being around people who are sick when possible.

If you are sick, stay home and limit contact with others to keep from making others sick.

Practice good health habits.&bsp; Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods and be physically active.

H1N1 Flu Mist is available at the health department for the following healthy people:

Anyone ages 2 through 24 years of age

People ages 25 through 49 years of age who:

– Live with or care for infants younger than 6 months of age

– Are health care workers or emergency medical personnel

Healthy people ages 25 through 49 years of age.

The H1N1 flu mist is a live vaccine which is sprayed into the nose. It does not contain any preservatives or thimerosal. It is attenuated (weakened) virus so it will not cause illness. Pregnant women and people with long term health problems or children with asthma cannot take the H1N1 nasal flu mist. Healthy people in the above listed groups are encouraged to take the H1N1 nasal flu mist.

H1N1 injections are available at the health department for the following people:

Pregnant women

Household contacts and caregivers for infants under 6 months of age

Healthcare workers and emergency medical personnel

People ages 6 months through 24 years of age

People ages 25 through 64 years of age with chronic health problems

You should not take the nasal flu mist or influenza vaccine injections if you are allergic to eggs, have had Guillain Barre Syndrome or reactions to flu vaccines in the past. If you are moderately or severely ill you may need to wait until you recover before getting the vaccine.

These vaccines are given at the health department at 161 Walker Street&bsp; in Columbus Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.