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Fill-in-Blank News Release For County Health Departments

For Release: ______, 2008
Contact: (name, title)
Phone:  (telephone number)

_____ County Health Department Schedules Flu Shot Clinics

The _____ County Health Department announced today its influenza vaccination clinic schedule for the upcoming flu season.  Clinics will begin the week of October 20. Clinic days and times are as follows: ______________________________________.

This year 404,000 doses of adult and child vaccine were ordered by the Oklahoma State Department of Health to be distributed to county health departments and public healthcare providers statewide.  State health officials believe supplies of vaccine will be sufficient to meet this year’s demand for flu shots from public health clinics. Vaccine is also available through private healthcare providers.

Oklahoma’s flu season generally occurs from October through May. “We hope our _____ County residents will use every opportunity to get vaccinated now,” said _____County Health Department Administrative Director _____. “Getting a flu shot each year is the best and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.”

In particular, _____ said children 6 months through 18 years of age should get a flu vaccination to protect themselves as well as those vulnerable persons around them who may be at risk for complications from influenza.  The vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women, anyone age 50 or older, persons of any age with chronic medical conditions, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and those who live with or care for persons at high risk of flu complications, especially health care workers.

Although there is no charge for getting a flu shot from the _____ County Health Department, voluntary donations will be accepted. “The purchase cost for each dose of vaccine is almost $11, in addition to the costs of administering the vaccine,” said _____.  “During these tight budget times, we’ll appreciate any contributions to help us offset our costs.”

Each year about 60 million Americans get the flu, resulting in about 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations. The flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. This year’s influenza vaccine contains three new influenza virus strains: A/Brisbane/59/2007(H1N1)-like virus; A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus; and B/Florida/4/2006-like virus. The protection provided by the flu vaccine should last about a year.

In addition to getting a flu vaccination, persons 65 and older and those with chronic health conditions should ask their doctor if they should be vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia, which is a common and potentially serious complication of the flu. Unlike the influenza vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine does not need to be given every year. This vaccine is available at physicians’ offices and the _____ County Health Department. 

For more information, contact the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).


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