H1N1 Vaccine Available In Central Georgia
Beginning Wednesday, December 9, all 13 county health departments in North Central Health District (NCHD) will offer H1N1 vaccine to the general public.
Recently, the Georgia Division of Public Health relaxed the priority group restrictions, opening the way for the District to make the vaccine available to anyone who wants it. Initial H1N1 vaccine doses were offered to five priority groups most at risk of developing complications from the virus.
Dr. David Harvey, District Health Director for NCHD said, “We are pleased to be able to offer the vaccine to more people. At the same time, we know that statistics show that younger people and pregnant women are most at risk of getting sick and developing complications that can lead to hospitalization and death. Because of this, we still strongly encourage high risk groups to get vaccinated.”
Harvey also recommends that you call your local health department to ensure vaccine availability. H1N1 vaccine is available at no out of pocket expense at county health departments, although administration fees may be charged to insurance companies.
Harvey also encourages everyone to continue basic prevention methods that help keep flu and other contagious diseases from spreading:
Practice good hand-washing hygiene. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Get your seasonal flu shot as soon as it becomes available.
Cover coughs and sneezes.
Stay home if you are sick. Keep sick children at home.
Although the pandemic seems to be slowing – with fewer cases being reported in Georgia and nationally – residents should remain on guard. While most people who catch H1N1 recover at home without medical treatment, the pandemic has claimed around 4,000 lives in the United States, including nearly 600 child fatalities, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more information, call your local health department or visit our website at www.northcentralhealthdistrict.com.