Update: County to offer special flu clinics Dec. 5, 12 and 19

The Merced County Health Department said it would conduct a special H1N1 flu clinic for county residents Dec. 5 at the Merced County Fairgrounds. Other clinics will be held in Los Banos Dec. 12, and in Atwater Dec. 19.

The Health Department will provide flu vaccine for any county resident who attends the Saturday clinics, but wants to emphasize the importance for the following groups to receive a vaccination:• pregnant women;• individuals who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months of age includingparents, siblings, and child care providers;• health-care and emergency medical services personnel;• children and young adults (ages 6 months–24 years); and• adults who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu-related complications.

The Health Department is advising people to call their primary health care provider first for a flu vaccination, since local providers have begun receiving H1N1 vaccine. Children younger than 18 must have permission from their parent/guardian to receive the vaccine. Individuals who have a fever or have received other live vaccines, such as flu mist or measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, in the past few weeks may not be eligible to receive a flu vaccine, based on the health department’s guidelines for vaccine administration.

The administrative fee will be waived for the H1N1 flu vaccine at the H1N1 flu vaccine clinics for any person who doesn’t have insurance coverage. Individuals with medical insurance should bring their insurance identification cards, but co-payments will be waived for the H1N1 flu vaccine.

Location Date and Times: Merced County Fairgrounds, Commerce Building, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Merced; Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

For more information on the H1N1 flu shots and special pandemic flu clinics, please call the Health Department numbers listed below:General flu and vaccine information, including clinic hours and locations:English — (209) 381-1180Spanish — (209) 381-1181Specific Health Related Questions on Vaccine (209) 381-1020.

More information on seasonal and pandemic H1N1 flu is also available on the County’s flu Web site at www.co.merced.ca.us/flu.