H1N1 (Swine) Flu: Maryland Gets Vaccinated Against a Third Wave
National Influenza Vaccination Week begins in wake of new flu-related deaths
Free vaccine at Local Health Depts, for a modest fee at local pharmacies, retailers
Call 211- The Maryland Flu Hotline - to find H1N1 vaccine where you live or work
Baltimore, MD (January 11, 2010) - Starting today, Maryland's local health departments are holding clinics or scheduling appointments for free H1N1 (Swine) Flu vaccinations as part of Maryland's observation of National Influenza Vaccination Week (January 10 thru 16), according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). The observance is part of contining efforts to prevent a "third wave" of more intense flu activity as Maryland enters what is traditionally the peak flu season.
""Vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself and your family against a third wave of H1N1 (Swine) flu," said John M. Colmers, DHMH Secretary. "Maryland now has a plentiful supply of the vaccine so everyone who wants it can get it for free at local health departments or for a modest fee at local pharmacies. The more Marylanders who get vaccinated, the better chance we have of avoiding the third and fourth wave of flu activity that history tells us is likely."
Maryland will report two additional H1N1 (Swine) Flu related deaths to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The latest report involves two adults, both from the Baltimore Metro Region. Personal details about these cases, including age, gender and specific jurisdiction of residence, will not be released to protect the privacy of the resident and the resident's family.
"These flu-related deaths at a time when overall flu activity has decreased simply highlights the serious nature of this disease and the need for everyone who is able to get vaccinated," said Frances Phillips, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services. "This vaccine is now available to everyone in Maryland but we continue to emphasize vaccination for anyone in the five vulnerable target populations who remain at higher risk of complications from flu."
By calling 211 - Maryland's 24/7 Flu Hotline - anyone can learn where H1N1 (Swine) flu vaccine is available free of charge from their local health department or for a modest fee from a local pharmacy, grocery or "big box" retailer. In addition, hundreds of vaccine and clinic locations can be found by visiting http://www.flu.maryland.gov/ on Maryland's Interactive H1N1 (Swine) Flu Vaccine Locator Map.
Participating retailers offering vaccine for a modest fee include CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Giant Food, Safeway, Shoppers, Target, Kmart and many local independent drug stores, To check the schedule of Maryland's local health departments vaccination clinics, or to make an appointment, click on your local health department web link for contact information:
The H1N1 (Swine) Flu vaccine Target Groups:
- Pregnant women
- Parents, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age
- Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
- All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
- Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza