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Flu Shots Available
The County Health Department is accepting appointments for flu shots for people in high-risk categories.

January 7, 2005

STILL NEED A FLU SHOT?
HEALTH DEPARTMENT TAKING APPOINTMENTS

Charlotte, NC - Beginning Monday, January 10, 2005, the Mecklenburg County Health Department will make appointments for high-risk adults in need of the flu shot.  Appointments will be scheduled January 10 - February 11, or as long as the current vaccine supply lasts.  The Health Department is also scheduling appointments for children who still need the flu shot.   To make an appointment, please call the Mecklenburg County Health Department appointments line at 704-336-6500.

Last month, the N.C. Division of Public Health announced that people 50 years old or older and household contacts of people in the below listed high-risk groups are eligible for the flu shot.   These relaxed restrictions are based on the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Other high-risk groups that are covered by the previous guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control include: 

• Children aged 6-23 MONTHS 
• Persons aged 2-64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions 
• Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
• Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
• Children aged 6 months-18 years on chronic aspirin therapy 
• Health-care workers involved in direct patient care; and 
• Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged less than 6 months.

The Health Department has already given about 9,000 flu shots at drive-through and on-site flu shot clinics so far this year.   Another 8,000 doses of the vaccine have been distributed to the two major hospital systems for their physician practices.  Vaccine has also been made available to physician practices that are not part of the two hospital systems' networks, as well as extended care facilities, nursing care facilities, and assisted living centers.

Those not eligible for the flu shot can limit their opportunity for exposure by avoiding close contact, especially with those who are sick.  Thorough hand washing, good nutrition, and proper respiratory etiquette - such as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze - can also keep you from getting and spreading germs.

For more information about the Mecklenburg County Health Department, visit the Web site www.meckhealth.org.




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