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Flu Facts: No more excuses, get flu vaccination

Pam Graber
For the Nevada Appeal

Editor’s Note: This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages throughout the flu season. Readers interested in knowing more about this topic are urged to visit http://www.cdc.gov

/h1n1flu or http://www.flu.gov

Q: Is it really OK for everyone to get H1N1 vaccinations now?

A: It is more than OK; we urge encourage everyone who has not already been vaccinated to do so now. While some national indicators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) weekly report, FluView, look hopeful, California and Nevada are two of seven states still reporting “widespread activity” of the H1N1 flu.

Although visits to doctors and hospitalizations for flu-like illness are decreasing and reports of deaths attributed to influenza and pneumonia are down, there is still no guarantee that we are “out of the woods.” The 2009 H1N1 flu got our attention last April, we saw a lot of activity last October, and there could be a subsequent wave this winter.

Eight months of research, study, education, intervention, recommendation and vaccination may have helped alleviate the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. “And of course,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services secretary, “we’ve taught everyone how to sneeze.” Nevertheless, she urged, we should now “focus on the next phase of H1N1,” and get vaccinated if we have not already done so.

“What we need now is perseverance.” says Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though this second wave of the flu is ebbing, “there is no way to know if there will be a third.”

January 10-16 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. The CDC designated this week to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination and the fact that vaccination is available and effective beyond October and November. Carson City Health and Human Services is having a community-wide H1N1 vaccination clinic at the Carson Mall on Saturday, to kick off NIV Week.

In addition to free H1N1 vaccinations and special mall surprises for those who receive them, three dogs from Therapy Dogs International will be there to comfort those who are anxious about getting their shots.

There are no more excuses. What better opportunity to get your H1N1 vaccination?

CARSON CITY AREA H1N1 VACCINE CLINICS

NOTE: Carson City Health and Human Services now offers H1N1 vaccine to all persons. Beginning Thursday, H1N1 immunizations will be available at the clinic on Thursdays only.

There will be a community-wide vaccine clinic from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.Saturday at the Carson Mall. There is no cost for the vaccine.

What: Weekly Flu Vaccinations at the Health Department

Who: The General Public along with all Priority Groups

Where: Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 East Long St.

When: Thursdays 8:30 a.m-11:30 a.m. and 1- 4:30 p.m. Thursdays

Cost: Free

What: Community-Wide H1N1 Flu Vaccination Clinic

Who: Those remaining who still need vaccination

Where: Carson Mall, 1313 South Carson St.

When: 9 a.m.-1 p.m, Saturday

Why: National Influenza Vaccination Week

Cost: Free

Bonus: Therapy Dogs, Int. will be there

• Pam Graber, is the public information officer for Carson City Health and Human Services.