A quick shot in the arm for area as flu shots arrive

By Michael Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – This week, the Mississippi State Department of Health is making it as quick and easy as possible to get a swine flu shot.
On Thursday and Friday, all county health departments will have fast-track H1N1 flu shot clinics from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., said Northeast and Tombigbee District Health Officer Roma Taylor. On Friday, free shots also will be given at Pontotoc WalMart from 9 a.m. to noon.
Right now no states have widespread outbreaks of the 2009 H1N1, also called swine flu, but the virus is still circulating and making people sick. Federal health officials can’t rule out a third wave of the flu.
“It’s not too late to be prepared,” Taylor said, noting that almost all the flu circulating right now is the H1N1 strain.
The free shots are available to all those over 6 months old who don’t have severe egg allergies.
The public health officers are particularly focused on getting the H1N1 vaccinations to seniors. Those over 65 are normally first in line for flu shots, but had been asked to wait because the swine flu was hitting younger people harder.
“They are still at increased risk for complications if they get it,” Taylor said.
Even after the fast-track clinics end Friday, the vaccine will be available free at county health departments as long as supplies last.

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