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Children urged to get vaccinated for H1N1

Now is not the time to drop our guard on H1N1 vaccinations,, and children are one of the most vulnerable populations affected by H1N1, said state officials from the Georgia Department of Community Health.

McDuffie County Health Department director Kathy Linebarger said children between the ages of six months and nine years should receive two doses of the H1N1 vaccine.

"That is the same recommendation for the regular flu vaccine," Mrs. Linebarger said. "It's really no different, it's just new because it's the first year to have the H1N1."

Georgia is one of five states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list with regional influenza activity, according to a press release from the Department of Community Health. While seasonal flu usually runs from October to May, H1N1 is still circulating.

"We aren't 100 percent sure that a third wave is occurring or will occur, but if there is a third wave it may happen in our state first," said Dr. Patrick O'Neal, Director of DCH's Division of Emergency Preparedness & Response.  

"What we do know is that residents need to continue taking precautions against the flu and seek vaccination if they haven't been vaccinated."

Local health department officials went into the schools earlier in the year and administered the vaccine to students and teachers. Mrs. Linebarger said most of the children received their second vaccine at that time, so they are not going into the schools now.

The McDuffie County Health Department offers the flu vaccine free to all ages on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Call the health department at 706-595-1740.

Web posted on Thursday, April 01, 2010

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