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					      Polk offering H1N1 vaccines to
             high-risk groups
The Polk County Health Department has started scheduling H1N1 swine flu
vaccination appointments for persons who fall into the high priority groups
recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Vaccine is still arriving slowly, but there is enough supply available to begin
vaccinating more high priority groups beyond our school vaccination
program,” Dr. Daniel Haight, director of the Polk County Health Department,
said in a news release. “We are concentrating our efforts on vaccinating those
in the high-priority groups who do not have a health-care provider.”

Some of the high-priority groups have already gained access to the vaccine,
including as pregnant women, EMS and health-care providers and some
children. The remaining groups recommended by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention are the focus of the next segment of the distribution
plan.

These groups include:

People who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months old

Anyone from 6 months to 24 years of age

Anyone from 25 to 64 years old who have medical conditions that put them at
higher risk for influenza related complications.

Many community doctors and clinics also are receiving vaccine supplies and
patients are encouraged to first contact their doctor to ask for vaccine
availability. Any primary care doctor can order H1N1 vaccine and easily obtain
it for free, along with supplies needed to give it.

For those without access to a private doctor, an H1N1 flu vaccine phone
appointment line has been created for people in the priority groups to register
for a free vaccination. The caller will be scheduled at the nearest clinic that
has the vaccine. Scheduling should not be done at the individual clinics but
rather by calling the centralized scheduling phone number at 863-519-7510.

As vaccine supplies become more readily available, private physicians,
pharmacies and public events will be held in the near future. In the meantime,
people are encouraged to contact their primary care provider to discuss any
questions they have about the vaccine and to determine if their provider has it
available. Private providers can charge an administration fee covered by most
forms of health insurance.

Planning for a weekend H1N1 vaccination event is under way for the
convenience of people within the priority groups who have been unable to get
a vaccination elsewhere during the week. More details will be released next
week.

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posted:12/31/2010
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