In Oct. 15 Issue
Just as the vaccine is becoming available, this week a Scott County man became the sixth to die from the H1N1, or swine, flu.
The inoculation for that specific virus will be available this weekend from the Health Department.
Amy C. Tomlinson, Public Health Services Coordinator at the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, said "This will be the first H1N1 vaccination clinics for this area, but more will be planned as vaccine continues to become available. These first doses are strictly the flu mist form of the vaccine, so they are only indicated for healthy people between the ages of 2-49."
That mist, which is sprayed in the nose, contains a live but weakened version of the virus Tomlinson explained. She said the inoculation is designed to not be able to reproduce in a person with a normal immune system.
The other version, which is injected, is not yet available she explained.
She explained when and where people can get the inoculations, "Russell County flu clinic will be Saturday, October 17. The seasonal flu vaccine will be available from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Duo-County Telephone, or until we run out. The H1N1 vaccine will be available from Noon until 2 p.m. at the Russell County Health Department, or until we run out.
"If a person needs both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine, they can get them both at the same time, if they are available. Other clinics will be planned and scheduled as more vaccine becomes available."
Tomlinson added that the injectable form of the H1N1 should be available in two weeks, both versions of the seasonal flu vaccine are available now.
When asked which is more important Tomlinson said, "Both are important, since they protect against different strains of the flu. It is recommended that people get the shots as soon as they are available."
Health officials across the country are stressing that the H1N1 vaccine is just as safe as the regular flu vaccine, despite what they may be hearing on the internet.
When asked if people can safely get both inoculations the same day Tomlinson replied, "Both vaccines can be given the same day as long as it is not the flu mist forms. If you have received a flu mist form of one of the vaccines, you should wait 28 days before receiving the flu mist form of the other vaccine. However, a flu mist form of one vaccine and a shot of the other vaccine can be administered the same day, or the shot forms can be given at the same time as well."
She invited everyone to the clinic Saturday morning at the Duo County drive-through.