Residents and visitors of Tennessee:
H1N1 flu vaccine is plentiful in Tennessee and widely available through local health departments at no charge to patients.
It is possible that the United States could experience early H1N1 flu activity next season, and before seasonal flu vaccine is available. Getting vaccinated against H1N1 flu at this time is especially important for people who are traveling to areas where the H1N1 virus is occurring, and/or for people who are at higher risk of flu-related complications but have not yet gotten a 2009 H1N1 vaccine. This includes young children and people 65 years and older. In addition, certain health conditions increase the risk of being hospitalized from flu related complications.
I urge all Tennesseans to get the H1N1 flu vaccine. H1N1 flu activity continues to be detected in the United States and other parts of the world. It's not too late to get these important vaccinations to be sure you and your loved ones are protected.
Vaccination is the best defense to protect against the flu. Wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home if you are sick with flu-like symptoms and get vaccinated.
Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN
Tennessee Department of Health