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Local flu vaccines available

January 10 marked the beginning of the annual observance of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). This flu season has presented our communities with unique challenges to fight a new type of influenza the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

H1N1 is a serious disease. Between mid April and November 14, 2009, 47 million people in the United States were infected with the 2009 H1N1 flu and more than 200,000 people were hospitalized with over 9800 people dying from the flu.

Due to influenza being unpredictable we do not know the likelihood of a future wave of H1N1 flu. It is important to remember that the best way to protect yourself from influenza is to get your vaccination.

Other ways to protect yourself is: frequent hand washing, covering your coughs and sneezes and staying home if you have flu like symptoms until 24 hours past an elevated temperature.

Seasonal flu vaccines and H1N1 vaccines for children ages 6 months and older and adults are still available at your local health department Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You do not have to have an appointment.

There is no charge to you for the influenza vaccines. Bring your Medicare card, Medicaid card or insurance card and immunization record if available when you come to get the vaccine.

Rutherford County Health department has administered the following:

2182 H1N1 vaccines and 358 H1N1 flu mists.

3024 seasonal flu vaccines and 51 seasonal flu mists.

Polk County Health Department has administered the following:

966 H1N1 vaccines and 179 H1N1 flu mists.

933 Seasonal flu vaccines and 19 flu mists.

McDowell County Health Department has administered the following:

1525 H1N1 vaccines and 352 flu mists.

1992 Seasonal Flu vaccines and 130 flu mists.

Its not to late to vaccinate for influenza. Private physicians offices and local pharmacies have provided vaccines also and some are still offering the vaccines.