Gov. Otter encourages state employees
to take advantage of expanded H1N1 flu vaccinations
Dear fellow state employees,
As you know, the H1N1 pandemic flu virus continues to spread and cause serious illnesses to Idaho residents. Almost 400 people have been hospitalized since September 1. Sadly, H1N1 has contributed to the deaths of 17 people in our state. We expect the virus to continue circulating, with the possibility of another wave of infections occurring during the coming months. But there is something you can do to protect yourselves and your families if you act now.
Last week, Idaho public health officials decided to open vaccine availability to all people under the age of 65, with several areas of the state opening to all age groups, including people 65 years and older. This is great news as we approach the Christmas holidays, when festive family get-togethers and mass travel brings people close together, providing an opportune way for the illness to spread. By getting vaccinated before the holidays, we can help protect our friends and loved ones so we do not become sick or spread this potentially serious virus to others.
The vaccine is both safe and effective. To locate vaccine in your community, please check with your local public health district or private healthcare providers. You can access this information through the Department of Health and Welfare’s Web site. Our public health districts offer the vaccine free of charge, while private healthcare providers may charge a small administration fee.
All of us can prevent the virus from spreading in our communities. Please take a few moments now to do your part and plan your vaccination. You will not only protect yourself, but also your family, friends and co-workers.
Thank you for your continuing hard work and dedication to the State and the people we serve.