The County Versus H1N1
Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino has announced what the County Department of Health is doing to help stop the spread of the H1N1 virus and what we all can do as individuals to protect ourselves and loved ones from the virus.
The H1N1 flu virus continues to impact many in our communities. One of the most important steps residents of Rensselaer County can take is to get vaccinated, especially if you are in one of the Center for Disease Control’s target groups which include pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age, all people from 6 months to 24 years of age, persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with a higher risk of medical complications from influenza and healthcare and emergency medical services personnel. To help ensure individuals in these target groups have access to the H1N1 vaccine the County Department of Health has provided physicians with approximately 4,500 doses of vaccine. Those vaccines have been quickly and efficiently administered by those physicians to patients who need the vaccine most.
The County Health Department recommends that anyone interested in receiving the H1N1 vaccine should validate that they meet the criteria of the above listed target groups and contact their physician regarding availability of vaccine at his or her office. If the physician does not have or does not plan to order vaccine, contact the Rensselaer County Department of Health at 518-270-2655. At this time, there is only enough vaccine to accommodate the three target groups listed. Those calling will be directed to a hotline number where they can leave their contact information. A nurse will return the call to offer assistance in obtaining the H1N1 vaccine.
If you do not fall within the listed target groups and are unable to obtain vaccine at this time, please continue to follow strict hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Stay home from work if you are sick and remind co-workers to do the same.
As more vaccine becomes available from the federal government, the County Health Department will implement plans to host school based clinics to immunize the approximately 23,000 school aged children.
Once the clinics focusing on the CDC target groups are completed and as more vaccine becomes available the County Health Department will offer vaccine to the rest of the general population who fall outside of the present target groups.