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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has received its third shipment of the H1N1 influenza vaccine and has already distributed the vaccine to health care providers. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.
The shipment contained 1500 doses of the live, nasal spray form of the vaccine, and about 3,000 doses of the inactivated shot form of the vaccine.
Jaci McReynolds, spokesperson for the health department, said the best way for people to get the vaccine is to contact their health care providers. She also said the health department is expecting to receive regular shipments on a weekly basis.
“We also know that there will be some future opportunities for people. The Jordan Valley Community Health Center will be offering Saturday walk-in clinics as more vaccine becomes available,” she said.
The health department says it received reports of 179 flu cases last week alone. That’s about twice the amount from the week before, and it’s only the cases being reported.
McReynolds says there’s no way to know how many of those are the H1N1 flu, but the assumption is that most of them are, since it’s still a bit early for the regular flu season.
Greene County has seen more flu cases since August than it saw during last year’s entire flu season. McReynolds says the public can help prevent the spread of the flu with a few simple practices, including frequent handwashing.
“We also want to remind people that, if they are sick, to stay home—not to go to shopping centers, or sporting events or to visit friends and loved ones in the hospital,” she said.
Taneyville Public Schools have cancelled classes for the remainder of the week due to an excessive number of sick students there.
For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.
The Springfield-Greene County health Department's public information call center will be open through Friday, October 23, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm to answer H1N1 and seasonal flu questions. That number is 829-6200. Volunteers are needed to help field the hundreds of calls from the public. Those who are interested in volunteering can fill out an application at www.beacommunityhero.com.
For more information on how to protect yourself and others against seasonal flu and H1N1, you can visit www.fightthefluMO.com or call the health department’s automated information line at 417-864-1166.