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Vaccine groups expand

POSTED: December 30, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The Georgia Department of Community Health, Division of Public Health has relaxed the restriction for H1N1 vaccine and is now offering the vaccine to everyone age 6 months and older.

  

The supply of vaccine has begun to stabilize in comparison to demand among the priority groups and, following the recommendation of the CDC, the H1N1 vaccine may now be offered to anyone over 6 months of age who wants to be vaccinated.

  

Although vaccine supplies are increasing, it remains important to contact your healthcare provider before going to the clinic to be sure vaccine is available when you want it.

  

Public health and other health care providers will continue the effort to target those high-risk populations which include pregnant women, children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years of age, persons from age 25 to 64 with chronic health conditions, caregivers and adults that live with children under 6 months of age, and health care and emergency workers that provide direct patient care.

  

To help limit the spread of influenza, people are encouraged to practice good hygiene by washing hands often, coughing into a tissue or sleeve if a tissue is not available, staying home when sick and avoiding people who are sick.

  

The H1N1 vaccine will be provided free of charge by Public Health, although administration fees may be charged to Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance.

  

Contact the local health department or your health care provider for information about the H1N1 influenza vaccine and its availability.

  

The Dawson County Health Department can be reached at (706) 265-2611.

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