The Merced County Department of Public Health recommended that everyone 6 and older get the annual influenza (flu) vaccine.
“Now is the time to get your seasonal flu vaccine,” Tammy Moss Chandler, director of Public Health, said in a news release. “Contact your regular doctor or clinic. If you do not have ready access to a doctor or clinic to get immunizations, the Department of Public Health is now offering flu vaccine during our Merced and Los Banos immunization clinics as well as at other locations around the county.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu vaccine. This year’s vaccine will protect against the 2009 (H1N1) flu strain and two other strains, H3N2 and influenza B, according to the news release.
Said County Health Officer Dr. Tim Livermore: “Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu from spreading. Protect yourself and others by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer and staying home if sick.”As in previous years, flu clinics will be held at various locations throughout the county. Flu vaccines will also be provided during Public Health’s regular immunization clinic hours in the cities of Merced and Los Banos.
The Public Health Department accepts Medicare, Medi-Cal and most private insurances.
Individuals without insurance may qualify for discounted fee based on the department’s sliding fee schedule. Eligibility is based on household income and family size. No one will be denied service.
To hear the Public Health Department’s latest flu information, call the Merced County Flu Info Line at (209) 381-1180 (in English) or (209) 381-1181 (in Spanish). You may also call the Public Health Immunization Program at (209) 381-1023.
For additional information, visit the Public Health “2011 Flu” website at:
www.co.merced.ca.us - and then click on the “2011-12 Flu Season Information” link in the “Help Center” section of the Merced County homepage. The site has the latest information about this year’s flu season and also links to state and national public health flu websites.
Flu vaccine is available at many convenient locations including your regular doctor or clinic; additional flu vaccine providers can be found through the CDC Flu Vaccine Finder at www.flu.gov/.--Sun-Star staff