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|Health Department Addressing Two Types Of Flu
|The Knox County Health Department will undoubtedly be dispensing more flu vaccine this year, but not necessarily because officials expect a lot of people to get sick.
The department held its annual drive-thru flu shot clinic last weekend at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Home on West Fremont Street. Flu shots are available at the department during the week for county residents 19 years of age and older between 9 a-m and 4 p-m. Local health officials say flu vaccinations for people under the age of 19 will be available at a later date.
Michele Fishburn, Director of Community Health Improvement at the Knox County Health Department, tells WGIL it might be a little confusing this year addressing two types of influenzas in one season - seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus.
"Best case scenerio is that the H1N1 vaccine would most likely be available mid-to-late October. All indications now is that will be a two-dose series, that has not been confirmed, but that is what we're looking at. They are also looking at right now that the possibility would be that people may, if they do not get the seasonal flu vaccine early, they can get the two at the same time."
Fishburn says it's especially important for people to be vaccinated against seasonal flu this year sooner rather than later. She says one of the biggest problems with having two types of flu in the community is that could seriously strain the healthcare workforce. H1N1 vaccines will be administered intially to populations prioritized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cost for a season flu shot is $30. The health department accepts Medicare, Medicaid and state health insurance.
Health officials say people who are urged to get a seasonal flu shot include children between six months and nine years old, pregnant women, people with chronic conditions, people over 50 years of age, healthcare providers and caregivers, and residents of long-term care facilities.
|09 02 09 by Newsroom
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