County To Hold Flu Vaccination Clinic Thursday

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To mark National Influenza Immunization Week in Gila County, a vaccination clinic will take place Thursday, Jan. 14 at the Payson county health clinic.

An initial H1N1 vaccine shortage has eased, and the inoculations are now available for anybody who wants one, said David Fletcher, director of the Gila County Health Department.

Vaccines, both for the swine flu and seasonal flu, will be available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Payson’s health clinic, located at 107 W. Frontier St., Suite A.

Fletcher said about 20 percent of Gila County is vaccinated against the flu, which is lower than the 40 percent health officials expected. The number of people afflicted with the flu traditionally peaks in February.

However, flu activity decreased nationally during the last week of the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Arizona, 23 new confirmed swine flu cases were reported in the week ending Jan. 2, none of which were in Gila County. All told, 51 lab-confirmed cases of the swine flu have appeared in the county since April.

Health officials say vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Swine flu shots are free for everybody. Seasonal flu shots cost nothing for kids up to 19, and cost $30 for adults.

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