News Release Dougherty County Health Department
Another Saturday H1N1 vaccination clinic targets stubborn, still-circulating virus While H1N1 influenza cases have dropped dramatically in recent months, the pandemic virus continues to cause sickness, hospitalizations and deaths, warn Dougherty County Health Department officials, who are scheduling another Saturday free vaccination clinic Feb. 20.
"Now that the pandemic has slowed down, the public isn't feeling as much urgency to get vaccinated," said Dougherty County Health Department Immunization Coordinator Suzette Profit. "However, this time of year is traditionally our peak flu season, and H1N1 influenza is still circulating."
During the week of Jan.31 - Feb. 6, Georgia reported 16 hospitalizations and three fatalities from influenza." Two of the three deaths were of young children. The Saturday clinic, set for 10 a.m. through 2 p.m., is an alternative for people whose work or school schedules conflict with regular health department office hours.
"We know not everyone can take off during regular weekdays," said Dougherty County Health Department Health Director Cheryl Henley. "The weekend clinic is a way to make the vaccine more accessible."
There is no out-of-pocket expense for H1N1 vaccine, but insurance carriers may be billed an administration fee.
"Vaccination is the best protection against H1N1 influenza," Profit said. "Right now, the disease is not widespread, but there is no guarantee we won't be hit by another wave."
Children are especially vulnerable to H1N1, so we are encouraging parents who want their children vaccinated against it to take advantage of the upcoming Saturday clinic."
More information about H1N1 influenza is available at the Dougherty County Health Department or by going online to www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org.