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Early shot at flu vaccine

By: ~ Staff report
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Placer County Health and Human Services will begin providing seasonal flu shots a little earlier this year, as the community prepares to make vaccines available for both seasonal flu and the new H1N1 flu.
The county’s first seasonal flu vaccination clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Maidu Community Center in Roseville.  
“A bout with seasonal flu can leave you or your family members feeling miserable with fever, cough, runny nose and muscle pain, and unable to go to school or work. Getting a flu shot is an excellent way to reduce your chances of getting seasonal flu, which can be a very serious disease for those at greatest risk,” said Dr. Mark Starr, director of Placer County Community Health and Clinics.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.
“That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way,” Dr. Starr said. “In addition, in order to best protect yourself from flu and other respiratory infections, you should avoid people who are sick, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner, cover your cough, and stay home if you become sick.”
The County will also schedule H1N1 immunization clinics when that vaccine becomes available later this fall. The federal Centers for Disease Control will set the priorities for groups to receive the H1N1 vaccine first. Dates and details about local H1N1 vaccine clinics will be provided on the county Web site and to news media and community groups when information is available. Seasonal flu shots will not protect you against the new H1N1 flu. 
The upcoming low-cost seasonal flu clinics sponsored by Placer County will be targeted particularly for those in the risk groups identified below. However flu shots will be available to anyone through these clinics.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health recommend that the following groups receive seasonal flu vaccinations:
• Adults aged 50 and older.
• All women who are or will be pregnant during influenza season.
• All children 6 months to 18 years of age.
• Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities.
• Healthcare workers with direct patient care. New state law requires acute care hospitals to offer vaccine to all employees free of charge.
• Individuals with underlying chronic medical conditions.
• Individuals who live with or care for an elderly individual, a child less than 5 years of age, or a person with chronic medical conditions.
• Children younger than 9 years of age getting a flu vaccine for the first time will need two doses of flu vaccine. This year in addition to flu injections,
Placer County has available limited amounts of vaccine that can be administered by nasal spray rather than by injection for those who meet medical guidelines.
A schedule of flu shot clinics is available on line at placer.ca.gov, and will be updated regularly. Residents can also call the County’s flu hotline (530) 889-7161 to hear a recorded message.
Flu shots are $20. The cost may be reduced based on income (sliding fee scale). There is no charge to MediCare members with Part B who can show their MediCare cards and who are not enrolled in an HMO plan. MediCare patients enrolled in a HMO must either pay $20 or see their primary care physician.

get your flu shot
Sponsored by placer county health and human services

When:  9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 29
Where:  Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive in Roseville

When:  9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Oct. 29
Where:  Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive in Roseville