For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2009
Schedule for First H1N1 Vaccination Clinics Available
Free H1N1 flu shots and FluMist® nasal spray vaccine will be available beginning October 23 at LA County Public Health Vaccine Clinics
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Health Officer, Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, today released the schedule for the first round of Public Health vaccine clinics, which will provide free H1N1 vaccine to residents who do not have health insurance or a regular source of health care, and are in a priority group.
“Increasing amounts of H1N1 vaccine are expected to arrive in Los Angeles County on a weekly basis. Public Health’s vaccine clinics will provide vaccine free of charge to residents in the H1N1 vaccine priority groups who do not have health insurance or a regular source of health care,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director and Health Officer.
“For those with health insurance and a regular source of health care, all of the more than 3,000 healthcare providers in the county who ordered H1N1 vaccine should receive it. Starting at the end of this week, these residents may wish to contact their doctor to find out when the H1N1 vaccine will be available to them.”
The priority groups for H1N1 vaccine are:
• Pregnant women
• People living with or caring for infants under six months of age
• Emergency medical services personnel and health care workers
• Children and young adults from six months through 24 years
• People aged 25 through 64 years with chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, or weakened immune systems
Public Health’s H1N1 vaccine clinics will begin on October 23, and will have H1N1 vaccine in many formulations, including injectable flu shots, FluMist nasal spray, and thimerasol-free vaccine. A list of dates and locations can be found on the Public Health website at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov or by calling the LA County information line at 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone. The vaccine clinic schedule will be released two weeks at a time. Residents are urged to check back often if they do not immediately find a clinic that is conveniently located near them. Vaccine clinics will be scheduled from late October through at least December.
Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, causes approximately 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States. While the average case of H1N1 is no worse than other types of seasonal flu, some individuals are at a higher risk for serious
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complications. Since the spring, there have been 57 deaths in Los Angeles County attributed to H1N1.
“The best way to prevent the spread of flu is to wash your hands often; cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes; and get vaccinated,” Dr. Fielding said. “If you are sick, stay home until at least 24 hours after the fever has gone away without the use of anti-fever medications. The same recommendation applies to children who go to school, daycare, or after-school programs.”
Talk to your doctor about H1N1 vaccine if you have any of the following:
• Severe allergy to chicken eggs
• Severe reaction to influenza vaccination in the past
• Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
• Moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (wait until recovering before getting vaccine)
The viruses in the flu shot are inactive (killed) so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Some minor side effects could occur, usually lasting only one to two days. These include:
• Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
• Low-grade fever
• Aches or pain
The viruses in the vaccine nasal spray are weakened and cannot cause the flu. In children, side effects are usually mild and can include runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches or fever. In adults, side effects can include runny nose, headache, sore throat or cough.
Most cases of H1N1 and seasonal flu can be treated by staying home, getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and treating fever and aches and pains with over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen (but not aspirin).
Residents should see a doctor if they have any of the following symptoms along with flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, tiredness, runny nose, etc:
• Fast breathing or trouble breathing
• Bluish skin color
• Not drinking enough fluids or stopping urinating
• Not waking up or not interacting
• Being so irritable that a child does not want to be held
• Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worse cough
• Fever with a rash
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness
• Severe or persistent vomiting