H1N1 vaccine soon available to all priority groups

Released by George T. Roberts, Jr. with the Northeast Texas Public Health District:

TYLER, TX (TX) – The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NETPHD) has continued to receive H1N1 vaccine over the past few weeks and is now able to offer vaccination appointments to healthy individuals ages 5 years through 24 years old. "This is a new priority group that we are pleased to offer the vaccination to, based on the recommendations by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). This will allow us to give the vaccine to healthy children and young adults, which before we could not." says George Roberts, CEO of NETPHD. DSHS has recommended giving the vaccination to all target groups, in order to provide for those at highest risk.

Priority Groups:
• Pregnant women
• Children and Adults 6 months through 24 years of age
• People 25 years through 64 years of age with high-risk health conditions
• Health care workers who provide direct patient care
• Close contacts of infants 6 months or younger

Individuals in the community that fall into the priority groups may call 877-244-9641 to schedule an appointment for the H1N1 Vaccination. Please remember vaccinations will be given by appointment only. NETPHD is currently scheduling appointments for those who live in Smith, Van Zandt, Henderson, Anderson, Rains and Wood Counties.

Harold Higgins, Senior Deputy Director of NETPHD says "We have been anxiously awaiting the expansion of the priority groups so that we can offer more vaccine to the community. As we continue to receive vaccine we anticipate that those groups will continue to open and accommodate for all of the public who would like to receive the vaccination."

Health Officials are urging residents who fall outside of the current priority groups to continue to be patient and to take everyday actions, like proper handwashing, to protect against illness. NETPHD will work through the local media to let the public know when those who do not fall in the priority groups will be vaccinated.