Restrictions lifted on H1N1 vaccinesPublished 10:15am Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The Berrien County Health Department will begin vaccinating all people against H1N1 as of today. There are no restrictions on who can be vaccinated. There is no charge for the H1N1 vaccine.
Any person desiring a vaccine can come to the following clinics:
• Today: New Buffalo High School, Gym Entrance, 1112 E. Clay, New Buffalo, 3 to 7 p.m.
• Thursday: Watervliet Saint Joseph Catholic School, 188 Lucinda Lane, Watervliet, 3 to 7 p.m.
• Monday. Dec. 14: First Church of God, 2627 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, 2 to 6 p.m.
There will be additional community clinics that will be open to the public scheduled to begin the week of Dec. 14. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
Although we have seen relatively lower levels of flu activity in our community in recent weeks, H1N1 is still circulating.
Traditionally, flu does come in multiple waves throughout the season. Now is an excellent time to make sure that you and your loved ones are protected from this influenza virus.
Adults and children 10 years and older will need only one dose of the vaccine. Children 9 years and younger will need two doses of vaccine four weeks apart. Children fewer than 6 months are too young to be vaccinated.
Check the Berrien County Health Department Web site at www.bchdmi.org for the most current information on the H1N1 and seasonal flu. For further questions, please call the health department at (269) 927-5636 (Benton Harbor); (269) 684-2800 ext. 5636 (Niles); or (269) 756-2008 (Three Oaks).
Some individuals have expressed concern over the safety of the 2009 novel H1N1 vaccine. It is important to know that this vaccine was produced in the exact same manner as the seasonal influenza vaccine, which has a long history of being safe and effective.
This vaccine went through all the same rigorous clinical trials that every other vaccine goes through and is fully licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. No severe side effects were seen in the thousands of people involved in the trials, including pregnant women and children. There is no reason to believe that this vaccine is unsafe, and it is far safer than becoming ill with influenza.
The vaccine is available in two forms: a shot and a nasal spray. The nasal spray is limited to healthy individuals ages 2 to 49 years