Get the latest info. on flu vaccinations

December 31, 2009 12:50:44 PM PST
Get links and important dates and times for your flu vaccination needs!

The Pennsylvania Department of Health will offer H1N1 flu vaccine free of charge to Pennsylvanians in the recommended target groups(please see the target groups below) November 20, 21, and 22. You can get more information by following this link: http://www.h1n1inpa.com/vaccines/h1n1-vaccine-locations-in-pa/. You must schedule an appointment for the vaccination.

"Pregnant women are one of the top target groups for H1N1 vaccine," says Public Health Coordinator Robert Gogats.

Pregnant women are priority candidates for vaccination because they accounted for 6% of deaths early in the epidemic, though they account for just 1% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the first month of the epidemic, the hospitalization rate for pregnant women was about four times higher than other groups.

For this reason, the health department encourages all pregnant women in the county to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine. While the health department does not have thimerosal-free flu vaccine available at this time, the CDC encourages pregnant women to be vaccinated with the H1N1 vaccine whether or not it contains thimerosal stating that there is no evidence that thimerosal is harmful to a pregnant woman or fetus. The CDC recommends both seasonal flu shots and the H1N1 vaccine for pregnant women at any time during pregnancy.

For more information about the H1N1 flu visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/. For more information about vaccine safety visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/general.htm.

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