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Children 6 to 9 should get second H1N1 dose
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MONROE - Many in the public may feel that flu season, whether it be seasonal or H1N1, is gone and over.

However, it is important to be reminded the H1N1 illness has not been eradicated from the community yet. Like many pandemic flu viruses there are often more than one outbreak, which can appear as waves of outbreaks of illness followed by periods of remission. The risk of becoming ill with H1N1 is still a valid concern. There are certain groups at higher risk from suffering the complications of this virus, including pregnant women, those with respiratory problems and young children.

The Green County Health Department encourages those children in need of a second dose to get one, as well as any child or adult who has not been vaccinated against H1N1 to get vaccinated. The Health Department will be holding a clinic open to the public from 9 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, at the Green County Health Department located in the Governmental Services Building in The Pleasant View Complex at N3150 Highway 81 in Monroe. The Health Department can be contacted at (608) 328-9390 with questions or to schedule an appointment if the public clinic can not be attended.

Children can develop severe complications from H1N1 Influenza. A reported 250 children in the United States have died from confirmed H1N1, however it is estimated that there have been over 1,000 deaths among children that have been due to H1N1 that were not confirmed. Children younger than 5 years old have higher rates of hospitalization than older children. It is also known that school age children have the highest rates of infection due to increased exposure to H1N1 in the school setting. Studies show that a second dose (booster) given 28 days from the first is required in children 6 months through 9 years of age to achieve optimal immunity. There is plenty of vaccine available for every child, who needs a second dose, as well as children and adults who have not yet been vaccinated.

Vaccination against H1N1 is safe and the vaccine is made in the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine.