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High-risk flu victims have first access to vaccine

October 21, 2001|STAFF REPORT

Due to a delay of the arrival of flu vaccine this year, those at a high risk for serious complications from flu or those who take care of high-risk people are the first to get the available vaccine.

The Imperial County Public Health Department will administer the flu vaccine only to those who meet at least one of the following requirements:

· 60 years of age and older

· those with a chronic medical condition such as asthma or another lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, blood disease

· those with immune system problems caused by diseases such as HIV infection or lymphoma, medications or treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy

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· women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during flu season (November through April)

· children at least 6 months old through teen-agers who are receiving long-term aspirin treatment

· those who live in or work in a nursing home or other chronic health-care facilities where residents may have chronic medical conditions

· health-care workers in a hospital, emergency, outpatient or nursing home setting

· health-care workers who deliver care to high-risk patients in their homes

Starting Nov. 1, flu vaccine will available to rest of the population.

October and November are the optimal months for receiving flu vaccinations. However, Center for Disease Control recommends vaccinations continue through December, January and beyond, as long as vaccine is available.

The cost for those at high risk who obtain flu vaccine before Nov. 1 will be $2. The cost for flu vaccine available to the general population starting Nov. 1 will be $12.

For further information call Danila Vargas, county Public Health Department, at 482-4467.

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