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

Free injectable flu vaccine now available for children and teens

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health now has injectable flu vaccine for children and teens at its Medical Annex.

The vaccine is available to children ages 6 months to 18 years of age. Along with the thimerosal-free injectable vaccine, the department also offers a nasal spray version for healthy children 2 to 19. The nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for children younger than 2 or children with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma.

Both the injectable and nasal spray varieties are free to the public. Parents do need to make an appointment by calling (260) 449-7514.

The Immunization Clinic is at 4813 New Haven Ave. The clinic’s hours are Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Children under age 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parents should also bring the child’s shot record. If someone other than the parent or legal guardian is bringing the child to the Immunization Clinic, the adult must have authorized consent. The form must be signed and notarized and is available on the department’s Web site at www.allencountyhealth.com.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated for influenza as soon as it is available.

Last year, two separate vaccines were recommended—an H1N1 vaccination, and a seasonal influenza vaccination. This flu season, only one influenza vaccination is necessary. However, children younger than 9 years old who are being vaccinated for the first time need a second dose four weeks apart to be protected.

For more information on preventing the flu, visit www.fighttheflu.org.

Flu prevention measures

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands, if a tissue is not available.
  • Stay home from work or school and limit contact with others if you are ill. Try to avoid other people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

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