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The Most Important Step In Preventing The Flu

October 19, 2012

“Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu shot now. It is the first and most important step in protecting you and your family from the flu virus,” said Dr. Richard Burton, Director of the Placer County Health and Human Services Department and County Health Officer.

While the flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu, including those 50 years of age and older, young children, people with chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, neurologic conditions, certain other long-term medical conditions affecting the immune system, pregnant women and those within the first two weeks after delivery, and people who are morbidly obese.

It is also especially important for people to be vaccinated if they care for or live with those at high risk for complications from flu or children less than six months of age. Occasionally some individuals may be advised by their healthcare providers not to get the flu vaccine due to a contraindication such as an egg allergy.

“ Everyone should practice flu prevention by staying home when ill, covering coughs and sneezes with elbows or using tissues, frequent hand-washing or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick,” continued Dr. Burton.

Vaccine is widely available in many locations throughout the community. Some local health care providers have offered vaccine at no cost this year. Three remaining clinics, for individuals age 9 and older, will be held by the Sutter Roseville Medical Center on Monday, Oct. 22 in Roseville: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 109 Washington Blvd; Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Sheridan: 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Sheridan Elementary School, 4730 H St.; and Friday, Oct. 26 in Roseville: 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Salvation Army, Roseville, 100 Lincoln St. For more information about the free clinics.

The Placer County Medical Clinics will offer low-cost flu shots; however there is no charge for Medicare members showing Part B cards who are not enrolled in an HMO plan. Shots will be available on Tuesday, Nov. 13 and Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.at the Placer County Medical Clinic in Roseville, at 1130 Conroy Lane, Suite 402. They are also available on an ongoing basis at the County’s regular immunization clinics at:

· Auburn: 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Fridays at the Placer County Medical Clinic, Auburn Annex,11584 B Ave.

· Roseville: 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays at the Placer County Medical Clinic, 1130 Conroy Lane, Suite 402.

· North Lake Tahoe: 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Fridays at the Placer County Medical Clinic in Kings Beach, 8665 Salmon Ave.

Children younger than nine years of age getting a flu vaccine for the first time will need two doses of flu vaccine. In addition to flu vaccine in the injectable form, Placer County has vaccine in intranasal form available for those who meet medical guidelines. Pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax) will be available for those who need it. This vaccine is recommended to help prevent the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia, which is more common during the flu season. It is recommended for those 65 years of age and older, and for others with certain long-term health problems. Residents can check with their healthcare providers to determine if they need this vaccine.

For questions, please call Placer County Public Health.

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