Maine CDC Press Release

October 25, 2007

Maine CDC Says It's Time to Arrange for a Flu Vaccine

For more information, including downloadable posters, visit www.mainepublichealth.gov and www.maineflu.gov
John A. Martins
Director, Public and Employee Communications
221 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
(207) 287-5012
(207)-287-3005 (Fax)
(207) 557-1474 (cell)

Augusta - The Department of Health and Human Services’ Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminds people that now is a good time to arrange for obtaining an influenza vaccine. The Federal CDC has recently announced that more than 127 million doses of flu vaccine are currently being distributed throughout the country. The amount of available vaccine continues to increase each year.

"We especially recommend those at high risk for complications from the flu make their appointments now for flu vaccine," said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, MD,MPH, Director of the Maine CDC. Those at high risk include: children, ages 6 months through 4 years; pregnant women; people 50 years of age and older; people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions: and people who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities. Others who should get vaccinated each year are: people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from flu, household contacts and out of home caregivers for children less than 6 months of age, and health care workers.

The Maine CDC has ordered 153,000 doses of the flu vaccine and is currently distributing its first batches. "This year, our state vaccine order is primarily for children and for high-risk adults in public health and high-risk settings, such as nursing homes and homeless clinics." said Dr. Mills. For those seeking a flu shot, the first step should be to call one’s health care provider. Additionally, a number of home health care agencies and hospitals are providing flu vaccine clinics that are often advertised in local newspapers. Finally, a number of flu vaccine clinics are held in supermarkets and other businesses. The schedule for some of these can be found at www.findaflushot.com or www.flucliniclocater.com. "With adequate supplies of vaccine this year, we encourage everyone to consider get a flu shot," added Dr. Mills.

The Maine CDC also reminds people of the three basic hygiene steps to prevent the spread of disease: covering sneezes and coughs with our sleeve or a tissue; frequent hand-washing and staying home when ill. "Getting a flu shot and following these simple hygiene steps will go a long way toward helping ourselves and our loved ones stay healthy this winter," Mills said.