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A few H1N1 shots available Saturday

LRMC having health fair

POSTED: November 6, 2009 10:40 a.m.
The Liberty County Health Department will be administering free H1N1 flu vaccines Saturday at a health fair from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Liberty Regional Medical Center, where residents can receive a variety of additional health services.
The shots will go to at-risk groups first.
 “People ages 2-24, pregnant women and health-care workers are our target,” said Diedre Howell, director of the county health department.
She said the department has 200 H1N1 injectable vaccines and about 250 mist-form doses of the vaccines. She said they do not have any more seasonal flu vaccinations.
“There’s no charge for the H1N1 vaccines, but if they have Medicaid or insurance we’re asking that they bring that information,” Howell said.
Dr. Diane Weems, Coastal Health District chief medical officer, said it’s difficult to get a solid number of confirmed cases in the coastal region because most medical authorities, like the CDC, are only counting the number of flu patients who are checked into intensive care.
Most patients who see doctors are recorded positive or negative for the influenza virus, but aren’t tested for the individual strains.
“So there’s no good way to determine the real numbers,” Weems said. “Influenza activity in most of the country, including Georgia, remains widespread.”
In fact, she said the majority of people who are complaining of flu-like symptoms are experiencing the new strain of flu.
“Almost all the influenza is likely H1N1,” she said. “We’re not seeing many seasonal cases. It’s still really early to see the seasonal flu.”
The Coastal Health District received 1,300 vaccines to spread across Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties. Weems said she’s unsure when they will get another batch.
“We really don’t get notice in advance,” she said.
She said they are working hard to get vaccines to all those who want them.
“Initially, we will have to limit the scope of those we target for vaccination. We do not have enough quantities at this time to give the vaccine to everyone who wants it and we ask for the public’s patience and understanding as we move forward with our vaccination efforts.”
With winter approaching, the fair will help residents make sure they are in the best health possible.
Residents can get a free health screening, with tests for blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.

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