Statement issued Thursday:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Oct. 6, 2011) – The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health is now offering flu vaccine for children and teens at its Immunization Clinic.
Both the injection and nasal spray variety is available while supplies last. Parents do need to make an appointment to have a child vaccinated.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Anyone can become infected, but the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and people with chronic health conditions are more likely to become seriously ill or die from the flu or its complications.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated for influenza each year.
The Department of Health has the traditional flu shot for children and teens ages six months through 18 years. Along with the thimerosal-free injectable vaccine, the Department of Health also has an intranasal spray for healthy children ages 2 through 18. The nasal spray, FluMist, is not suitable for children younger than 2 or children with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma.
The Immunization Clinic is at the department’s Medical Annex, 4813 New Haven Ave. The clinic’s hours are Tuesdays, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Call (260) 449-7504 to make an appointment.
Children under age 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian (with appropriate consent). Parents should also bring the child’s shot record. There is an administration fee of $9 per vaccine.
Super Shot Inc. is also offering flu vaccine to children up through age 18 at its clinics. No appointment is necessary. For times and locations, visit www.supershotinc.org or call (260) 424-7468.
Adults who want to get the flu vaccine should check with their physician or visit their neighborhood pharmacy.
For more information on preventing the flu, visit www.fighttheflu.org.
Flu prevention measures
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands, if a tissue is not available.
• Stay home from work or school and limit contact with others if you are ill. Try to avoid other people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.