The Marion County Health Department is reminding Indianapolis residents that it’s not too late to get a seasonal or H1N1 flu vaccine.
Public health officials are concerned another wave of H1N1 flu could be approaching. Those adults and children who have not received an H1N1 flu shot are encouraged to do so. In 2009, reports of H1N1 influenza were still being received in April and May, much later than the March end of the traditional flu season.
“In the last couple of weeks we have seen an increase in individuals coming to our emergency rooms with flu-like illness, so there is a reason to believe we are not out of the woods yet,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director, Marion County Health Department.
Because of the unpredictable nature of the H1N1 flu, those who have not received the H1N1 flu vaccination should do so.
“This flu season is not going to end quickly. We do not want anyone getting sick if we can prevent it,” said Caine.
Parents of children nine years old and younger are reminded that this age group requires two doses of the H1N1 vaccine in order to have full immunity. The two doses must be given a minimum of 28 days apart.
The health department will be returning to local schools to provide second doses of the H1N1 vaccine. The schedule is being finalized and will be released by the end of the month.
“Vaccine supplies are holding steady and there are many resources for the vaccine. These include doctor’s offices, Walgreens and Kroger pharmacies and from free clinics sponsored by the Marion County Health Department,” said Caine.
For more information, go to the health department’s Web site, www.mchd.com or call the Flu Helpline at (317) 221-3366.
Health department accepting disposal of household sharps
The Marion County Health Department Water Quality and Hazardous Materials Management (WQHMM) and Community-Based Care programs are pleased to announce a new community program that provides free, safe disposal of home-generated sharps.
The Sharps Disposal Program offers Marion County residents a safe disposal option for their used needles, syringes and lancets. With the number of sharps being used to self-administer medicines increasing, proper disposal of these sharps becomes even more important.
Until now, Marion County residents wanting to safely dispose of household sharps had few cost-effective options. Sharps often are placed in trash containers, put down drains or simply dumped outdoors.
Used sharps can be dropped off at the three health department District Health Offices, including the Northwest District Health Office, 6940 Michigan Rd.; the Northeast District Health Office, 6042 E. 21st St.; and the South District Health Office, 505 National Ave.
Sharps must be placed in hard, plastic containers, and new 5-quart sharps containers will be given out in exchange while supplies last. For more information on the Sharps Disposal Program, please contact WQHMM at (317) 221-2266.