Flu vaccine available locally

The Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department will be administering flu vaccine on Thursday, Sept. 13, and Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays, thereafter. The cost is $20 for all adults; Medicare Part B is accepted. The cost is $6 for children (six months to 18 years) with no insurance. Medicaid and CHIPS are accepted. If children have private insurance, the health department has to refer them to their physician unless insurance does not pay for vaccine. The health department can vaccine children for $20 using their private stock vaccine and not state vaccine.The Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department will be at the Roscoe Community Center on Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 1:30-4 p.m. to administer the flu vaccine, and at Blackwell school on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 9-11 a.m."We do want to stress to the community that our flu vaccine is for all adults," said Linda Kite with SNCHD. "We have had to turn away all adults that have private insurance for vaccine that is provided by the state. We purchase the flu vaccine so we can give it to anyone who wants to pay $20." The children's flu vaccine is obtained from state so the SNCHD has to follow the rules about referring to physicians if their private insurance pays for the vaccine.Influenza infections are caused by Influenza A and Influenza B viruses. The influenza viruses can shift or change, therefore, each year's vaccine may be different from the year before. The 2012-2013 vaccine is different from last year's as the strains in the vaccine changed.The 2012/2013 trivalent influenza vaccine (FLUZONE) contains A/California/07/2009 (H1N1) - like, A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2) - like, and B/Wisconsin/2/2010 - like antigens.Fluzone is approved for persons six months of age and older.Fluzone is:• propagated in embryonic chicken eggs.• is a clear to slightly opalescent suspension.• contains 0.05% gelatin per dose as a stabilizer.• contains thimerosal 25 meg per dose as a preservative in multi-dose vials.• does not contain antibiotics.• only preservative free if is labeled as such.• all presentations of Fluzone are latex free (new).Fluzone should not be administered to persons who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to eggs or egg proteins, ever had a severe reaction after getting any flu vaccine, has an allergy to thimerosal or gelatin.Persons who have had the following should consult their physician before Fluzone is administered:• hives.• swelling of the lips or tongue.• acute respiratory distress.• collapsed after eating eggs.Persons with the following should not receive Fluzone:• neurological problems.• prior history of Guillain-Barre syndrome.Persons with the following may not obtain the expected antibody response upon receiving Fluzone:• immunosuppressant due to HIV, AIDS or ARC• leukemia.• lymphoma.• generalized malignancy.• use of corticosteroids (20 mg daily for more than two weeks).• cortisone use discontinued less than one month prior to vaccination.• use of alkylating drugs.• use of antimetabolites.The health department wants to encourage residents to use preventive actions against Influenza:• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, to avoid spreading germs.• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.• If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.• Get vaccinated for the flu.