National Influenza Vaccination Week: Jan 10-16
Vaccinations for all is the best way to protect against possible resurgence of H1N1
National Influenza Vaccination Week (January 10-16) is a reminder that one of the best things you can do to protect your health in the New Year is to get your H1N1 vaccination if you haven't already received one.
"Getting vaccinated is the single best thing to do to prevent the H1N1 flu. And, when more people get vaccinated the community is less at risk for another big outbreak of H1N1," said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for the Spokane Regional Health District.
In 2009, between April and mid-November, 47 million Americans caught H1N1 flu, more than 200,000 were hospitalized and nearly 10,000 died. In Spokane, several thousand become ill, 196 people were hospitalized and 8 died.
H1N1 is a new virus, and its course is unpredictable. "We could see another wave of this influenza or, it could possibly even change into something more serious," said McCullough. "There is plenty of vaccine available for anyone who wants to protect themselves from the H1N1 influenza."
Vaccine is now easy to find and is available at provider offices, clinics, and pharmacies throughout Spokane County and Eastern Washington. Some locations offer free or low-cost vaccine, including the Health District's Public Health Clinic. For more information call 324-1648.
Vaccine is especially important for people at highest risk of complications from H1N1 flu, including pregnant women, people ages 6 months to 24 years, and anyone between 25 and 64 years of age with certain chronic medical conditions. Because infants younger than 6 months cannot receive the vaccine, parents and caregivers should get vaccinated to prevent spreading flu to the infant. Health care and emergency medical services personnel also should get vaccinated to protect patients and ensure continuity of medical services. Parents and caregivers are reminded that children ages 9 and younger need to receive a second H1N1 vaccination if they have only received one. The second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose.
H1N1 vaccine is widely available in Spokane County:
- Your Doctor's Office: Please contact your doctor's office to see if they have flu vaccine available.
- Local Pharmacies: The vaccine is also now available at many local pharmacies. Policies vary by pharmacy, especially when it comes to vaccinating children. Pharmacies are permitted to charge a small fee. Please call to confirm price and availability.
- Costco Stores: Two special H1N1 vaccination clinics are being held. Must be a Costco member or come with a member. Cost $10.
- January 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Division Store, 7619 North Division Street
- January 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sprague Store, 5601 East Sprague Avenue
- On-line H1N1 & Seasonal Flu Vaccine Locator
Those who are uninsured can get the vaccine free of charge at the following locations:
- SRHD Public Health Clinic – anyone 6-months of age and older, by appointment: 324-1600
- Safeway pharmacies – over 8 years of age for the flu shot; 5 years of age and older for the nasal spray
- US Health Works Urgent Care – anyone 6-months of age and older, walk-in for Valley and South Hill locations; 4 years of age or older at the North side location
For more information call 324-1495.