Soon we will be offering the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine to all employees. The vaccine will be voluntary and top federal health officials highly recommend that everyone get vaccinated (see www.flu.gov). The vaccine is the best defense against the acquiring and spreading the 2009 H1N1 flu.
Currently, the vaccine will be available in one (1) dose and will be free to McLeod employees who want to take the vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that the following ‘target’ groups receive the vaccination first, in this order:
· Pregnant women
· Households and caregiver contacts of children younger than 6 months of age. This includes parents, siblings, and day-care providers.
· Health care and emergency medical services personnel
· Persons from 6 month through 24 years of age
· Persons aged 25 through 64 who have medical conditions associated with a higher risk of influenza complications.
· All persons aged 25 through 64 years of age.
· Persons older than 65
As we have supply from the government we will make it available to these people first and then to all who would like to take the vaccine. Our Employee Health and Infection Control departments are working to determine the most efficient way to ensure that every employee can receive the vaccine. We expect the H1N1 vaccine to be available in late October.
In the meantime, watch for signs and symptoms of influenza in yourself, relatives, co-workers, and individuals in your care. The signs and symptoms of 2009 H1N1 influenza are: fever, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, cough/head and lung congestion and possibly diarrhea/nausea/vomiting. If you develop these symptoms, contact a healthcare provider and your supervisor immediately. If you are sick, stay home. If you want more information about the H1N1 flu visit, www.cdc.gov or contact: McLeod Department of Epidemiology ext. 6421 or Employee Health ext. 5152.