Editor's note: Bryan County reportedly has both nasal spray and the shots. There is no charge, though Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance may be billed.
Here's the press release:
Health departments throughout the Coastal Health District, which is comprised of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties, are now offering the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to anyone six months of age and older. Those at higher risk for complications from the H1N1 flu are still strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Those groups include:
· Pregnant women
· Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
· Healthcare and emergency services personnel
· All people 6 months to 24 years old
· Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.
“Although we don’t have an overabundance of H1N1 vaccine, we feel that we have enough to open the vaccination process to those outside of the five priority groups,” said Dr. Diane Weems, Chief Medical Officer for the Coastal Health District. “I want to emphasize, however, that we are still focusing our primary vaccination efforts on those included in the priority groups.”
While getting vaccinated provides the best protection against contracting the flu, there are simple preventive measures residents can take to keep from getting and spreading the flu. Those steps include coughing or sneezing into the crook of the elbow and not the hand; frequent hand-washing with soap and water; and staying home when sick.
“People often travel in close quarters and gather with friends and family members during the holidays. That means that germs will have ample opportunity to spread quickly,” said Weems. “Taking a few basic steps can help keep germs at bay and prevent the spread of influenza and other viruses.”