H1N1 vaccination clinic for children scheduled for Monday

October 29, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The Washington County Health Department will hold an H1N1 flu vaccination clinic Monday for children ages 5 to 18 who have chronic health conditions.

Vaccinations for the flu, also called swine flu, will be available by appointment only. Those who want to schedule an appointment may call 240-313-3456 today beginning at 8 a.m.

People should not show up early or show up without an appointment, health department spokesman Rod MacRae said. Vaccinations will be given at the health department's main building at 1302 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown's North End.

There is no charge for the vaccination.

The clinic will have approximately 200 doses in injection form available for children, MacRae said.

The health department is expecting more H1N1 vaccine, but shipments have been erratic, MacRae said.

Because the health department has received a limited supply of the vaccine, distribution is starting with high-risk populations, MacRae said.

According to MacRae, the vaccine comes in three forms with different recommended target populations:


o The nasal mist is recommended for healthy people.

The health department began administering this type of H1N1 vaccination to Washington County public elementary school students Oct. 20. About half of the students given the option of getting the vaccine received parental permission to get the vaccine, MacRae said. He did not know how many had been vaccinated.

Health department officials began with public school students because the department already had a plan for distributing seasonal flu vaccine in public schools and it allowed the department to effectively vaccinate a large segment of the population, he said.

o Single-dose prefilled syringes are recommended for pregnant women. MacRae said two local obstetric/gynecology offices were expecting vaccines, so the doses the health department received will be administered to children at Monday's clinic. Pregnant women should call their doctor to get vaccinated, he said.

o Vials of 10 doses, which includes the vaccine to be used in Monday's clinic.

MacRae said people who should get the H1N1 vaccine, such as adults with chronic conditions, but haven't been able to get it yet, should exercise all possible precautions to minimize risk of contracting the flu.

One death from H1N1 has been recorded in Washington County, according to the state health department.

The H1N1 vaccine will not provide protection from the seasonal flu, heath officials have said.

A walk-in clinic for seasonal flu vaccinations will be held Tuesday at North Hagerstown High School, MacRae said. The clinic will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m. or there is no more vaccine.

The seasonal flu clinic is for anyone 18 years old and older. A donation of $20 is requested. Medicare will be accepted, but no other insurances will be billed, according to the release.

To schedule an appointment

Those who want to schedule an appointment for children ages 5 to 18 with chronic health conditions to receive the H1N1 flu vaccination at a Washington County Health Department clinic may call 240-313-3456 today.

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