Vermonters Age 50+ Now Eligible:
Gov. Jim Douglas Gets Flu Shot to Protect Himself and Others

DATE: January 10, 2005
Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON—Urging Vermonters to follow the Vermont Department of Health’s newest flu vaccine recommendations for people age 50 and older Governor Jim Douglas today had his flu shot at Health Department offices in Burlington.

Eligibility for flu shots was expanded on Jan. 7 to include healthy Vermonters age 50 and older and anyone who lives with or cares for a person who is at high risk for serious complications or death from the flu.

Also eligible for flu shots: any healthy child age 6 to 23 months, anyone age 6 months and older with serious medical conditions, pregnant women, and health care workers.

Douglas, age 53, said following the department’s recommendations is important.  “Now that the oldest, the youngest, and medically at-risk Vermonters have been vaccinated, it’s time for those of us who could put them at risk to get a flu shot,” said Gov. Douglas. “In my job I see Vermonters, young and old, all around the state, and I have elderly family members I visit regularly…it is important for us to do whatever we can to prevent flu from spreading.”

Flu season is well underway in the state, but a flu shot now can still offer protection and help prevent the spread of flu to others. There is a limited supply of vaccine available for adults—and plenty of vaccine for children. FluMist, a nasal spray vaccine, is also available for healthy people ages 5 to 49.

Adult flu shot clinics are still being held in some locations and many health care providers have vaccine. To find out about getting a flu shot, call your health care provider or the Health Department’s information line at 800-695-0022 during regular business hours, or check www.healthyvermonters.info.

Health officials estimate that approximately 100,000 doses of vaccine have come into the state to date, and most people at highest risk of serious complications or death from the flu have been vaccinated.