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Flu, pneumonia clinics planned for Libby, Troy

by The Western News
| September 24, 2010 12:40 PM

The Lincoln County Health Department confirmed this week that walk-in influenza and pneumonia immunization clinics will be scheduled over the next several weeks in Libby and Troy.

Clinics are set for Oct. 13, Nov. 10 and Dec. 8 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Libby Senior Citizens Center. Clinics are also upcoming on Oct. 27 and Nov. 17 from 1-4 p.m., at the Kootenai Senior Center in Troy.

Scheduled appointments are available at the county health department offices. To schedule an appointment, call 293-2660.

Local health officials said the Centers for Disease Control and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services issued recommended changes in the 2010-11 influenza and pneumonia vaccine guidelines. 

This year’s seasonal influenza vaccine will contain an antigen for three strains of the influenza virus, with last year’s H1N1 or “swine flu” being one of those strains.

Health officials said like previous years’ recommendations, all children ages 6 months through 8 years who receive the influenza vaccine for the first time, should receive two doses a minimum of four weeks apart. For this year, however, children ages 6 months through 8 years who did not receive two doses of H1N1 vaccine last year, should receive two doses of influenza vaccine regardless of previous influenza vaccination history.

Additionally this year, routine influenza vaccine is now recommended for all persons ages 6 months and older. The expansion now includes the group of healthy nonpregnant adults ages 18-49 who previously were not actively encouraged to be immunized.

The pneumonia vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria, including those most likely to cause serious illness. The CDC has revised its recommendations to include those  ages 2 through 64 years of age with long-term health problems such as heart or lung diseases, and those who have a disease or condition that lowers the body’s resistance to infection, such as kidney failure, HIV or taking cancer drugs. The recommendation guidelines also have been expanded to adults ages 19 through 64 years who smoke or have asthma.

Only one dose of the pneumonia vaccine is needed with a few exceptions. For people 65 years of age and older who got the pneumonia vaccine when they were younger than 65 and it has been more than five years since the immunization, they should receive a second dose. People ages 2 through 64 who have a disease, condition or medication usage that lowers immunity,  should also receive a second vaccination after five years.