The flu season is fast approaching and MDI Hospital anticipates that it will have its first supply of seasonal flu vaccines for public clinics in late September.
An initial delivery of seasonal flu vaccines arrived at the end of August and is planned for Hospital employees and high-risk Hospital patients.
“We’re using this first batch to inoculate our employees because we want to ensure a healthy workforce as the flu season progresses,” said Hospital President and CEO Arthur Blank.
“We also want to make sure we target as many high-risk patients as we can with this initial supply,” added Blank.
MDI Hospital will be working with local school systems to distribute the seasonal flu vaccines to students.
Notification will be made through the media when vaccines are available for the public at venues throughout MDI.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following people be vaccinated:
• Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
• Pregnant women
• People 50 years of age and older
• People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
• People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
• People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
• Health care workers
• Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
• Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
“We strongly urge our community to take advantage of flu vaccines this year,” said Blank.
According to the CDC, the seasonal flu vaccine is unlikely to provide protection against novel H1N1 influenza (Swine Flu). A novel H1N1 vaccine is currently in production and may be ready for the public in the fall. The novel H1N1 vaccine is not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine – it is intended to be used in addition to seasonal flu vaccine.
For more information on the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov on the web.
More information on the Swine Flu can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/maineflu.