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FOR RELEASE: December 12, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

Flu Vaccine Now Readily Available

State health officials announced today that they have received the full allotment of flu vaccine for the state of Oklahoma. Flu shots are available to any Oklahoman, regardless of whether or not they are considered high-risk individuals, as long as the supply lasts.

Long-awaited supplies of vaccine are now available at local county health departments and can be used to vaccinate anyone, including healthy adults, school-aged children, and any high-risk individuals who have not yet received the shot.

People at high-risk for complications from the flu include persons over the age of 50; residents of nursing homes; persons with diabetes, immune system problems or lung disorders; as well as women who will be in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the flu season (November through April); and health care workers who care for high-risk persons.

“We want to encourage people to get their flu shot as soon as possible. It’s not too late to protect yourself and your family from the flu or the complications associated with this disease,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch.

Also, health officials recommend pneumococcal vaccine for persons who are 65 years of age or older, or persons who have heart or lung problems or diabetes. This vaccine protects against pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common type of pneumonia resulting in hospitalizations, and is available at physicians' offices and county health departments.

For more information about the flu vaccine or clinics scheduled in your area, contact the county health department in your area. Health care providers working for non-profit organizations may call the Oklahoma State Department of Health Immunization Services at 405/271-4073 for information about obtaining additional flu vaccine.


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