SAVANNAH—It’s not too late for residents in the Coastal Health District to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu virus. The virus is still circulating and causing mild to severe illness.
“This is National Influenza Vaccination Week and there’s no time like the present to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu,” said Dr. Diane Weems, Chief Medical Officer for the Coastal Health District. “While we have seen a slight decrease in H1N1 flu cases, there is no question that it is still in our communities.”
Weems emphasizes that while all those over six months should be vaccinated, it is especially important for those at risk for complications from the flu to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. High risk groups include pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency services personnel, all people from 6 months to 24 years of age, and those 25 to 64 years old who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
“Recent history has shown us that the H1N1 flu is unpredictable and we need to remain vigilant,” said Weems. “There is H1N1 vaccine available in all Coastal Health District counties and I strongly encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated now.”
Children under 10 need two doses of the H1N1 vaccine about a month apart. Children under 10 who have only had one dose thus far should get a second dose to receive maximum protection from the H1N1 flu.
Although the H1N1 is the predominant flu strain circulating at this time, seasonal flu vaccination is also encouraged. Seasonal flu can last well into the spring and also causes both hospitalizations and deaths every year.