Vaccine clinics over the weekend provide a good opportunity to get protected during holiday season

For Immediate Release:  Dec. 18, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – Four public vaccine clinics are scheduled in Vermont through Monday, providing an opportunity for those people most at risk for serious complications from the H1N1 flu virus to get immunized during the busy and crowded holiday season.

“We’re continuing to see higher rates of illness throughout New England than other parts of the country,” said State Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso. “Getting vaccinated while you are out shopping or running errands this weekend is an excellent use of time. We don’t expect there will be long lines at the clinics and the more people who are immunized, the stronger our base of protection against the flu, especially during a time of year when people tend to find themselves indoors, sometimes crowded together with other people.”

Currently, the shots and nasal spray are available for pregnant women, anyone who lives with or provides care for infants younger than 6 months, health care workers and EMS personnel, anyone age 6 months through 24 years, and anyone age 25 through 64 who has a medical condition that puts them at higher risk for flu complications.

Vermont plans to make the H1N1 vaccine available to any Vermonter who wants it by early in the new year. For now, the Health Department is still encouraging Vermonters who are most at risk to get the vaccine first.

The clinics are scheduled for St. Johnsbury this evening (5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Caledonia Home Health Care), Saturday in Essex Junction (Champlain Valley Exposition, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), and Monday in Newport City (Orleans Essex VNA & Hospice Office) and St. Albans (1 p.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only at the Franklin County Home Health Agency).

Information about H1N1 vaccination clinics is available at the Health Department's Web site: www.healthvermont.gov or by dialing 2-1-1. You can follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/healthvermont.

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