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Fill-in-Blank News Release For County Health Departments

For Release:              ______, 2009
Contact:                     (name, title)
Phone:                        (telephone number)

_____ County Health Department Schedules Flu Shot Clinics

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

“While the new H1N1 (swine flu) influenza has been the focus of so much attention since last spring, it is important that we do not forget the risks posed by seasonal influenza viruses. Now is the time for _____ County residents to get their annual seasonal flu shot,” said _____ County Health Department Administrative Director _____. “This shot is different from the new H1N1 flu vaccine and will protect against this year’s seasonal influenza virus strains for the entire flu season.”

_____ said the shot is available for anyone who wants to be protected from seasonal flu and 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.

_____ emphasized that flu can be a serious disease. Each year about 60 million Americans get seasonal influenza, resulting in about 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations. “Getting a flu shot each year is the best and most important step in protecting against flu,” s/he said.

_____ suggested _____ County residents “take 3 actions” to prevent the flu.

  1. First, take time to get vaccinated for seasonal flu.
  2. Second, take those everyday preventive actions to keep from spreading flu viruses: cover your cough; wash your hands; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. And if you get sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  3. Third, take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them, especially if you are at increased risk of complications from the flu.

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.”

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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