H1N1 vaccine now open to all

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Alabama Department of Public Health is now offering the H1N1 vaccine to all residents, not just those in previously designated “high-risk categories.”

Locally, that means that one wishing to take the H1N1 vaccine can walk in to the Covington County Health Department and receive one.

“Right now, there are no specific clinic dates set, but walk-ins are welcome,” said a CCHD health official. “All that we ask is that Medicare and Medicaid patients please bring their cards with them.”

Previously, the vaccine was restricted to those in priority groups at the greatest risk of complications from the disease. Alabama has recorded its 17th consecutive week of widespread influenza activity, and virtually all influenza has been confirmed as H1N1.

“Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from this potentially serious disease,” said Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer. “That vaccine is now available at all county health departments; all health care providers who have requested it have been sent some portion of their orders.”

The CCHD is open today and Thursday and vaccines are available from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The office will be closed on Christmas and follow its regular business hours until the end of the month. The office will be closed New Years Day.

There is no cost for the vaccine.

For more information, call 334-222-1175.