H1N1 vaccine available to anyone

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Press release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department:

H1N1 vaccine available to anyone

Beginning Wednesday, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health is making H1N1 flu vaccine available to anyone regardless of age or health condition.

The vaccine clinic at Carew Medical Park is open Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The clinic will also be open Thursday, Dec. 17 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Both the H1N1 nasal spray and the H1N1 injection will be available at this clinic. The nasal spray vaccine is recommended for healthy people ages 2 through 49. The H1N1 shot is recommended for all others.

Vaccinations had been limited to those in high-risk categories. Now that the vaccine is available in adequate supply, it is important that everyone get vaccinated now to prevent a third wave of illness this winter, says Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan.

In related news, the health department was notified Tuesday of a recall of some H1N1 vaccine distributed across the country last month. The recalled shots, made by Sanofi Pasteur, were intended for young children, ages 6 months to nearly 3 years.

Indiana received about 10,000 doses of the affected lots, of which about 500 doses were sent to Allen County. Of that number, only about 20 doses were actually administered locally. The health department is working with local providers of the H1N1 flu vaccine to locate any unused vaccine from the affected lots so they can be returned to the manufacturer.

The recall was not due to safety concerns but because of a slightly reduced concentration of vaccine antigen found in retesting these lots. The vaccine is still expected to be effective in stimulating a protective immune response and there is no need to re-administer a dose to those children who received vaccine from these lots.

Children less than 10 years old are already supposed to get two doses, spaced about a month apart.

 

Vaccines available at the Carew Medical Park

H1N1 vaccine (injectable)

  • For anyone 6 months of age and older, including those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease
  • No child younger than 6 months can get the vaccine
  • If a person is ill with a fever, he or she cannot get this vaccine

H1N1 FluMist vaccine (nasal spray)

  • For healthy children and young adults 2 to 49 years of age who do not have underlying health conditions
  • No child younger than 2 years of age can get this vaccine
  • No adult older than 49 can get this vaccine
  • Pregnant women cannot get this vaccine
  • If a person has had any live vaccine such as the MMR, Varicella (chickenpox) or the seasonal flu mist vaccine in the last 28 days, he or she cannot receive the H1N1 FluMist vaccine

More than 20,300 people have been vaccinated for H1N1 flu since the clinic opened on Oct. 9. The vaccines are free. Children under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (with notarized documentation).

Children under the age of 10 will need two doses of the H1N1 vaccine, four weeks apart, to be fully protected. Parents should bring the H1N1 vaccination records for children who are returning for a second dose.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of influenza should stay home and contact a health care provider. People can also limit the spread of flu by covering their cough and washing their hands.

For more information, go to www.FightTheFlu.org or call 2-1-1.

Be a Flu Fighter!

  • Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after you cough or sneeze

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