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Washington County expands H1N1 flu vaccination clinics

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Washington County's Department of Public Health and Environment will be conducting expanded H1N1 flu vaccination clinics throughout December. Each clinic runs from 3p.m. to 6 p.m. and residents will need to reserve their vaccinations by calling the county's Flu Message Center at 651-430-6820.

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There is no charge for the vaccination. Locations and dates are as follows:

Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd St. N., Stillwater,

Monday, Dec. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 17

Headwaters Forest Lake Service Center, 19955 Forest Road N., Forest Lake,

Tuesdays, Dec. 8 and 15

Cottage Grove Service Center, 13000 Ravine Parkway S., Cottage Grove,

Thursday, Dec. 10 and Wednesday, Dec. 16

Adhering to the Minnesota Department of Health recommended guidelines released last week, the clinics will target the following age groups:

• age 6 months through 24 years

• age 25 years through 64 years with a chronic medical condition that puts them at higher risk of medical complications from influenza

• pregnant women

• health care providers or emergency medical services personnel

• people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age

Children 9 years of age and younger will need a second dose four weeks after their first vaccination. All children younger than 18 years of age need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

"Despite decreasing numbers of H1N1 flu cases in Minnesota, this illness still presents a serious risk to the health of all Washington County residents. Citizens are encouraged to be vaccinated," said Lowell Johnson, Department Director.

Additional flu information can be found on the county website www.co.washington.mn.us/flu

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 24/7 toll-free FluLine is available to offer support and treatment options for people with possible symptoms of the flu, at 1-866-259-4655. For additional information and fact sheets about season flu or H1N1, go to www.mdhflu.com.

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