November 19, 2010
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FREE FLU VACCINATION AT CUMBERLAND PLATEAU HEALTH DISTRICT CLINICS
(Lebanon, VA) – The Cumberland Plateau Health District will offer free seasonal flu vaccine to everyone ages six months and up as part of preparedness exercises at the following clinics on both Wednesday, November 24 and again on Friday, December 3, 2010:
On Wednesday, November 24: All clinics will be held from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
On Friday, December 3: All clinics will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Vaccine is available on a first-come, first-serve basis at no charge and with no appointment needed for anyone who wishes to protect themselves and those they love from the flu. Those under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. While supplies last, there will be a choice of vaccine types, either injection or mist and preservative free vaccine is available.
“As you begin your family gatherings, stop by the health department and get a free flu vaccine. This could be the best present you receive this year by not only protecting yourself, but also your loved ones,” said John Dreyzehner, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Cumberland Plateau Health District. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.”
“This will also be an opportunity for us to exercise our ability to rapidly mobilize a dispensing site and exercise our emergency vaccination plans,” said Kenneth Hayes, emergency planner for the Cumberland Plateau Health District. “We are very fortunate this year to be able to offer free seasonal flu vaccine at our health departments.”
“The vaccine is safe and effective,” said Dr. Dreyzehner. “Like all vaccines, it stimulates the immune system to protect you against the flu, but does not cause the flu.”
For more information, call your local health department listed above, or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.
Each year in the United States 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu, approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized, and flu related deaths have ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 each year over the last three decades with an average of about 24,000 deaths each year.
The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against the novel 2009 H1N1 and two other influenza viruses – an H3N2 and an influenza B virus. Health officials say everyone six months 9625and older should get the flu vaccine.
While everyone should be vaccinated, it is extremely important for certain individuals to get vaccinated either because they are high risk of having serious flu-related complications or they care for or live with an individual with high risk of developing flu-related complications. These include:
Though vaccine is not considered unsafe for infant children, children under six months of age must rely on the people around them for protection from flu because at this young age their immune systems cannot effectively respond to flu vaccine enough to prevent infection. This is not the case for all vaccines, but it is for flu.
The Cumberland Plateau Health District includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell Counties. For the fourth year in a row, these local health department offices are again partnering with the local public and private school systems, home schools and local colleges to offer seasonal flu vaccine in our schools for both students and staff. This is the fourth year that the health department has offered this service in schools and expanded this year to include local colleges and professional schools. Most schools have already been completed this year. For more information on this in-school vaccination program, call your local health department or school nurse.