This Year’s Seasonal Flu Vaccine Protects Against 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus Among Others

November 22, 2010 

As we enter the flu season, the West Central Health District would like to encourage the public to get an influenza vaccination to help protect themselves against the flu.  Seasonal flu shots are currently available at all the Health Departments in our district.  The vaccination fee is $26.00, and can be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, some insurance plans, cash, checks and credit cards and is available to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.  Please be sure to bring a picture I.D. and your insurance card.  The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1, and two other influenza viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus).  The Centers for Disease Control has stated that in order to expand protection against the flu to more people, it is recommended that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine.  It’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  1. Pregnant women
  2. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  3. People 50 years of age and older
  4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    • Health care workers
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
    • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

While one of the best ways to prevent getting the flu is by being vaccinated there are also some general flu prevention tips that you should practice every day.  Be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.  Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth - germs spread this way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people, and if you are sick with flu–like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)  While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 

For additional information please call 706-321-6300 or visit www.columbushealth.com
 
Pamela Fair
Public Information Officer
Columbus Department of Public Health
West Central Health District
2100 Comer Avenue
Columbus, GA 31904
(706) 321-6108
FAX:  (706) 321-6126
Pager: 1-888-289-3151