Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2009

CONTACT
Leah Bucco-White, Communication and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356, Leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov

Unvaccinated High-Risk People Encouraged to Get H1N1 Flu Vaccine Now

Vaccine Will Be Available to General Public Dec. 21


Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx

Lincoln – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) encourages high-risk people who haven’t received H1N1 flu vaccine to contact their local physician or local health department and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"Flu is unpredictable and the season typically runs through April so building immunity is important,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer for DHHS. “Vaccination is the best protection against the flu. That’s why it’s critical to get as many people vaccinated as we can.”

Nebraska is seeing a decline in H1N1 flu activity. State health officials say this is a window of opportunity for more people to be vaccinated. Health officials will start offering H1N1 flu vaccine to Nebraskans outside the initial target groups Dec. 21, however vaccinating high-risk people remains a priority.

If Nebraskans fall into the high-risk category and haven’t been vaccinated, the time to do it is now. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following priority groups be vaccinated:

  • Anyone 6 months-24 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or care for babies 6 months old and younger
  • Health care and emergency medical services personnel
  • People 25-64 years old with underlying medical conditions, like heart disease or asthma

People falling into the priority groups should call their local physician’s office. If their doctor doesn’t have vaccine, they should contact their local health department. For a list of local health departments go to http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/puh_oph_lhd.aspx.

More vaccination questions? Contact your local health department or the DHHS Flu Information Hotline at 1-888-541-5668 or 402-471-2579. Specialists are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time. For more flu information, visit the DHHS Web site at www.dhhs.ne.gov/PublicHealth/Pages/influenza_index.aspx.

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