DOBSON — Starting today the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center is offering its remaining H1N1 flu mist vaccines to members of the general public age 49 and younger.
The center has a limited number of vaccines left from its first batch, according to Thomas Williams, media relations specialist for the health center. The remaining vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“We’re very ready to open up what we have to the general public,” Williams remarked.
People over 49 years old are not permitted to take the flu mist. The nasal mist contains the live H1N1 virus and is not recommended for older people or those with weak immune systems.
The county originally offered the vaccine to health care workers. “We’ve made two attempts to make sure health care workers were taken care of,” explained Williams.
The health department then opened the remaining vaccines up to youth between the ages of 2 and 24 on Monday. Williams said many children can’t take the H1N1 vaccine yet because they just had the seasonal flu mist.
The health center has recently been working in the schools to make sure that students could receive the seasonal flu vaccine. The recommended period a child has to wait before getting another flu mist vaccine is 28 days. So Williams said although some parents have come in this week to get their children the H1N1 mist, most children aren’t eligible yet.
The health center still hasn’t received word yet on when it will receive its next shipment of vaccines from the state. At some point the state will probably send H1N1 vaccines in injection forms, which will be open to a broader age range.
Those interested in getting the H1N1 vaccine can go to the immunization clinic at the Health Department on Hamby Road in Dobson between 8:30 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The vaccine is free, but people are asked to bring insurance cards if they have one so insurance providers may pay an administrative fee.
The county’s H1N1 information line, 401-9000, provides information about the vaccine.
Contact Meghann Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.