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FluMist to be offered at clinic Tuesday

December 27, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Now that it has received 1,000 doses of the FluMist influenza vaccine, the Washington County Health Department is going to provide immunizations at a clinic Tuesday, Washington County Health Officer William Christoffel said Friday.

Earlier this month The Health Department ran out of vaccines, causing it to cancel a childhood influenza immunization clinic, Christoffel said.

But while the department has run out of the regular flu shots, it ordered and received 1,000 doses of the FluMist vaccine, which works just as well, Christoffel said.

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The immunizations, to be performed at the health department's 1302 Pennsylvania Ave. location, will be administered to healthy residents between ages 5 and 49 from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, he said.

A reservation must be made ahead of time to get the immunization, he said.

Appointments for doses of the FluMist vaccine can be made by calling the health department at 240-313-3492.

A donation of $30 will be accepted for each vaccination given to cover its cost, the release said.

There is more demand than usual for the vaccine this year because of the national media attention on the strength of this year's flu and some deaths caused by it.

He said the additional supplies are being made available to health departments in Washington County and elsewhere because the state purchased a large amount of the FluMist "way below market price."

Influenza is a highly infectious virus that leaves people ill for a few days with symptoms that include a sore throat, cough, chills and muscle aches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC discourages people older than 50, women who are more than three months pregnant and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart and kidney disease, HIV infection and diabetes from getting the intranasal vaccine.

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