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SJCH Wants Public to Know This Years Flu Shot Includes H1N1 Vac

Health Alert In an effort to further encourage Kern County residents to get flu shots, San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) is making the community aware that this year’s immunization also includes the H1N1 vaccine. One injection will now offer protection against the seasonal flu as well as the H1N1 virus.

As many people may recall, there was a nationwide shortage of H1N1 vaccines last year. Because the vaccine was developed after the seasonal flu shots had already been made, immunization against the H1N1 virus could only be accomplished with a separate shot.

This season, however, H1N1 has been incorporated into the regular flu shot and by all accounts, supplies should be able to meet the demand. Free drive-thru flu clinics, of course, quickly run out of shots. In fact, SJCH is holding one with limited doses Saturday, Oct. 23 in the parking lot at Chester Avenue and 29th Street, beginning at 8 a.m.

Again, doses are limited to first-come, first-served. If people do not receive a free vaccine through the SJCH Drive-Thru clinic, we would still encourage them to seek out the vaccine at other clinics/locations or through their physician.

SJCH officials are hopeful that the added convenience of an all-in-one flu shot and H1N1 vaccine – and the protection – will motivate the public to get immunized.

“Flu shots, especially this year’s that also contain the H1N1 vaccine, can be critical in preventing illness,” said Melissa Vega, SJCH Immunizations Coordinator. “Seasonal flu shots are recommended for people 60 years of age and older as well as those that suffer from chronic illnesses such as lung, heart or kidney diseases, asthma or diabetes.”