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General public can now receive H1N1 vaccine

By Staff | Dec 8, 2009

Rugby Johnson Clinic Registered Nurse Lisa Thorp said a third outbreak of the H1N1 flu is definite possibility, and residents who have not received the vaccine are encouraged to get it now.

The clinic has received about 300 more doses of the vaccine and last week announced anyone can schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. That is about a fourth of the order Thorp has requested from state health officials and said she hope more will be arriving in the coming week.

The first doses of the H1N1 vaccine this fall was offered only to health care officials, children, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. Those first few doses came in the form of a nasal mist and eventually doses were administered through a shot. Two shots are needed for children up to age nine. One is the vaccine and the other the booster.

The Pierce County Public Health office continues to be busy administering the H1N1 vaccine to residents. Initially, doses were only given to those designated by the state health department as first priority, including children, pregnant women and people with health complictions. The general public is now able to receive the vaccine, provided there are doses available. Residents can contact the office to make an appointment at 776-6783.

The first wave of the flu hit in April and then again in early fall. Health care officials predict another wave of flu cases to affect the country this winter, and during this lull in flu activity, now is when people are advised to get the vaccine.

What makes this strain of flu different than the seasonal flu is it seems to affect younger-aged people more so than the elderly. There has been a few deaths, attributed to the H1N1 flu.

The clinic has also used up all of its season flu vaccines and any new shipments are going to those on a waiting list. At this point, no more people will be added to that list, due to limited supplies.

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