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Health Department: Ample supply of flu vaccine

Influenza immunization clinics are scheduled throughout the state beginning in October.

County health departments and other health care providers in Alabama expect to have an ample supply of influenza vaccine for the 2008-2009 season.

Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for most people, beginning for children at age 6 months, to protect against outbreaks which generally occur from November to March in Alabama.

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for the following persons:

– Children aged 6 months through 18 years, including those on long-term aspirin therapy

– Adults aged 50 years and older

– Adults and children with chronic disorders

– Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season

– Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities

– Persons who are immunosuppressed

– Health-care workers

– Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged 0-59 months and adults ages 50 and older

– Anyone else who wishes to reduce the chance of contracting influenza

Typical symptoms of the flu include fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, and often extreme fatigue.

The public is also reminded to follow basic infection control measures to help prevent the spread of the flu.

These include covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or cloth when coughing and sneezing, staying at home when sick, and washing hands frequently.

For more information contact the Immunization Division at (334) 206-5023 or toll free at 800-469-4599.