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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 27, 2012

Flu vaccine available across South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Now is the time to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your family for the coming influenza season, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“Flu vaccine is in plentiful supply across the state through private providers,” said Linda Bell, M.D. and interim state epidemiologist. “In the coming weeks, DHEC county public health departments will also be offering vaccine. The flu vaccine is still the best way to guard against serious illness this fall and winter.”

Dr. Bell said both DHEC and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu. Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk of complications, including:

  • Children ages 6 months to 5 years
  • Adults 50 and older
  • Persons with chronic medical conditions
  • Persons with suppressed immune systems
  • Pregnant women
  • Persons ages 6 months to 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy
  • Residents of nursing homes and chronic care facilities
  • American Indians / Alaskan Natives
  • Persons who are morbidly obese
  • Healthcare workers
  • Household contacts and caregivers of children 5 years or younger, adults 50 and older, and people with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for complications.

“Our DHEC clinics will continue to serve anyone who needs a flu vaccine this season,” Dr. Bell said. “But starting with the 2013-14 flu season, our clinics will focus their limited resources on residents who are uninsured, underinsured, or cannot receive their vaccination elsewhere.” Dr. Bell said visitors to DHEC’s vaccination clinics would be informed of the changes so that they can begin planning for next year.

To learn where and when influenza vaccine will be offered in your area, visit
http://www.scdhec.gov/flu/clinic-options.htm

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For media inquiries:
Jim Beasley – (803) 898-7769
Email – beaslejc@dhec.sc.gov