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Sun, Jan. 26

CDC urges high-risk groups to be vaccinated

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified priority groups related to the H1N1 flu vaccine distribution. Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) plans to follow the CDC guidelines when conducting vaccination clinics beginning later this month.

Unlike the seasonal flu, the H1N1 flu virus is infecting a much younger population and pregnant women are also vulnerable as they are at risk for developing serious complications from influenza. Pregnant women who develop fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath) are urged to contact their physician at once. Infants who are less than 6 months of age cannot receive the H1N1 vaccination. Instead, it is important for their family members and caregivers to receive the vaccine in order to protect the baby.

Some private providers will have the H1N1 vaccine at their office. Patients can check with their doctor to see if they plan on giving vaccinations. H1N1 vaccinations will also be administered at mass vaccination clinics conducted by YCCHS throughout the county. Insurance will be billed an administration fee only as the vaccine has been provided by the Federal government. Patients should take their insurance cards to the mass vaccination clinics. There will be no out of pocket cost to patients and no one will be turned away. No prescription is necessary to receive the H1N1 vaccination at the YCCHS clinics.

YCCHS is offering mass vaccination walk-in clinics beginning Oct. 24, and will only be open to the following priority groups set forth by the CDC:

• Pregnant women

• Persons who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months of age (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers),

• Health-care and emergency medical services personnel.

• Persons aged 6 months to 24 years.

The following priority group can be vaccinated (as well as the groups listed above) beginning at the Nov. 7 walk-in clinics.

• Persons aged 25-64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications, i.e. respiratory, heart, immune compromised. It is advised that you check with your doctor to see if the H1N1 vaccination is recommended for your condition.

Visit the YCCHS website at www.yavapaihealth.com or call 928-771-3121.

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