Marengo County Health Department to offer flu clinics

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2005

Contributed Report

LINDEN-the Marengo County Health Department will offer walk in flu clinics for high- risk patients Friday Oct. 14 and Friday Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Walk in clinics will also be offered to the general public Friday Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The walk in clinics are part of a statewide plan with Alabama Health Departments to begin administering influenza vaccine in clinics for high risk individuals starting the first week in October with all others in November.

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More than 45 percent of flu vaccine ordered for county health departments has already been received and additional shipments are expected later. Manufacturers expected to provide inactiviated influenza vaccine to the U.S. population this season are sanofi pastuer, Inc.; Chiron Corporation and GlaxoSmithKilne Inc.

State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson said a shot is the best way to prevent complications that often occur with the flu.

“Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent infection from the flu virus and the complications associated with flu,” Williamson said. “Persons must be revaccinated each year because the flu viruses change every year.”

The components of the vaccine for the 2005-06 influenza year include New Caledonia, California and Shanghai antigens.

The demand for influenza vaccine has increased in Alabama as well as the United States in recent years as vaccine shortages have drawn attention to the need for influenza vaccinations. However, immunization rates for influenza remain low and illness and death from the disease remain high. Most people who die from influenza are 65 years old and older. Children younger than two years old are as likely to be hospitalized as those 65 and above.

Beginning Nov. 1 county health departments will administer vaccines to everyone regardless of risk status. The vaccine may be taken until the end of the influenza season in March while supplies last.

For more information contact your local health care provider or county health department. An updated schedule of influenza clinics to be held can be accessed on the Alabama Department of Public Health website at or by calling your local county health department.