The Bear River Health Department has extended hours for clinics and officials are encouraging people to get their seasonal vaccinations early this year. Dr. Ed Redd, the department’s Deputy Director, says that’s because the staff is preparing to focus on vaccines for the H1N1, or Swine Flu, vaccine later.On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Thursday, Dr. Redd says the groups especially encouraged to get the seasonal flu vaccine are young children, those over 50 and others who want to protect themselves from getting the flu. He says the H1N1 Influenza has a different target group.”Infants, pregnant women and younger children seem to be affected by that virus a lot more than we would normally expect,” Dr. Redd explained. Because of that, that Bear River Health Department is focusing on those more vulnerable to contract the virus and strongly encouraging them to get vaccinated. “We’re really encouraging pregnant women, children aged 6-24, and particularly providers, like parents and guardians, of infants age 0-6 months because those little kids don’t have any protection. The only way to protect them is to vaccinate people that are around them.”In addition to the vaccine, Dr. Redd recommends washing your hands frequently with soap and water, covering your mouth when you cough, and staying home when you are sick to avoid spreading the virus. The department’s flu shots are available Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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