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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments

For Release: _____, 2005
Contact: __________
_____ County Health Department
(Phone)

County Health Department Will Give Free Flu Shots In October _____
Free Influenza Shots part of Mass Immunization Exercise

The _____ County Health Department will provide free influenza shots October (date) from (time) to (time) at (location). In addition to providing protection against influenza, this will also serve as an exercise of the community’s ability to rapidly provide immunizations to a large number of people in a short amount of time.

“This is a great opportunity to get a flu shot before influenza season begins and help your community prepare for a public health emergency,” said _____ County Health Department Administrative Director _____.

Any person 6 months of age or older is eligible and encouraged to be a part of this free influenza shot clinic. – OR -- Persons eligible to participate in this free influenza shot clinic include the following: (list ages, health conditions, etc., pertinent to your exercise).

The _____County clinic is part of a seven-county mass immunization exercise planned by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The goal of the exercise is to prepare for the type of mass immunizations that might be required in the event of a terrorist attack, a naturally occurring disease epidemic, or other public health emergency. The exercise will provide influenza vaccine to thousands of Oklahomans while helping train and prepare public health organizations, first responders, and medical staff.

“We expect to be ready to quickly screen and vaccinate people so they should not have to wait long for their shot,” said _____.

Employers are encouraged to provide time for employees to attend the exercise. “An hour away from the office in October may save sick days throughout the winter,” _____ emphasized.

Each year, Oklahoma’s county health departments provide influenza shots for people at high risk of health complications from influenza and others seeking protection from the flu. All county health departments will continue to provide influenza shots after the exercise as long as vaccine supplies last.

“Influenza occurs every winter and it is a deadly disease that kills about 36,000 Americans each year, of which 400 to 500 may be Oklahomans. By getting your ‘flu shot’ each year, many serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths can be prevented,” said _____.

Counties participating in the mass flu immunization exercise include Sequoyah, Stephens, Tulsa, Canadian, Mayes, Oklahoma, and Beckham.

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