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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments
National Influenza Vaccination Week Begins December 5th   

Date:                     _____

Contact:               _____

Phone:                 _____

The _____ County Health Department encourages all _____ County residents to get a flu shot next week during National Influenza Vaccination Week Dec. 5-11.

“National Influenza Vaccination Week serves to remind all of us about the critical importance of a flu shot this season,” said _____, administrative director for the _____ County Health Department.  “If you or a loved one is threatened by the flu, a so-called mild flu season might be the worst -- or last -- flu season of your life.  Many people are at risk from complications caused by the flu and as we saw last year with H1N1 influenza, it can strike all ages.”

National Influenza Vaccination Week is a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as fostering greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season into January and beyond. Flu shots are recommended for all Oklahomans over the age of 6 months.

Flu shots are available at the _____ County Health Department for anyone who wants to be protected from influenza. The shot is especially recommended for children 6 months of age up to their 19th birthday, pregnant women, persons 50 years of age or older, persons with chronic medical conditions, residents who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, and persons who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from the flu, including health care workers.

This year there is a $25 fee for flu vaccinations at county health departments. However, many persons, including seniors, may qualify for a fee waiver, including those who are on Medicare and do not belong to an HMO. Persons who are on SoonerCare and children who qualify for the Vaccines for Children program are eligible for fee waivers as well as others who may be eligible based on income. In addition, persons enrolled in HealthChoice and the Oklahoma Public Employees – Health and Welfare (OPEHW) insurance programs can present their insurance cards at county health departments and the fee for the vaccine will be billed back to HealthChoice and OPEHW.

If you have questions about whether you qualify for a fee waiver, contact the _____ county health department at (phone number).

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