Health Department to Offer H1N1 Vaccine

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Magoffin County residents will have access to an H1N1 live vaccine Friday at the Magoffin County Health Department.
The vaccine, in the form of a nasal spray, will be available at the health department Friday from 9 a.m. until noon.
The vaccine was made available this week to health care professionals, and health department officials are making the remainder of the medicine available to the public.

Additional vaccines through injection form should be available within the next two weeks, health department officials said.
A press release from the health department lists healthy individuals from 2-24 years of age, healthy individuals from 25-29 who live with infants younger than six months , and healthy health care or emergency medical personnel as the ones who should participate in the H1N1 immunization process.
Health officials say those with severe egg allergies, children under two, people suffering from long-term health problems, children on long-term aspirin treatment, and those who come in close contact with a person with a severely weakened immune system should not be immunized.
H1N1, commonly referred to as Swine Flu, is a different strain of the regular yearly flu, but has created public concern because of timing and publicity.
As of Wednesday, 60 deaths in the United States had been attributed to H1N1, which is considerably less than the number of U.S. citizens who die annually from the regular flu.
A total of five deaths have been reported in Kentucky, with two victims said to not have any other health issues.
The virus, health officials say, can live outside the body for up to eight hours and can be transferred through direct sneezing or coughing, or by touching an infected hard surface and transferring it into the mouth, eyes, etc with the hands.
Being careful to cover sneezes and coughs, and frequent hand washing can greatly reduce the risk of transfer from an infected person to a healthy one.
The current H1N1 vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the Advisory Council for Immunization Practices, and is expected to reduce cases of the virus.
Health department officials are encouraging those who qualify for the nasal spray vaccine to visit the department Friday morning. Additional information can be obtained from health department officials.