LAKE CHARLES, LA(KPLC) - The start of the new year marks the start of the new rules surrounding the H1N1 flu vaccine. The vaccine has been offered since October of last year, but for while were only available to specific groups.
There is over 19-hundred, lab confirmed, cases of the H1N1 flu, in the state of Louisiana. The only people eligible to receive a vaccine were women who were pregnant, caregivers at home, healthcare workers, and children who are six months to twenty-four years old. But, now that is all changing.
"The group that can get the H1N1 flu vaccine has been expanded to the general public," said Doctor B.J. Foch with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Now, if you are not in one of those categories it does not matter. The state health officer announced, earlier in the week, that H1N1 vaccine providers have been alerted that they may begin offering vaccinations to everyone after the new year.
"The H1N1 flu, just like any other flu virus, is an unpredictable enemy," said Doctor B.J. Foch. "We don't know what will happen with it. Our best weapon against such an unpredictable enemy is the vaccination."
The Louisiana department of Health and Hospitals strongly recommends that anyone who has not been vaccinated for the H1N1 flu should do so as soon as possible.
For a list of providers offering the vaccine, log on to www.fighttheflula.gov.