Volusia health department giving flu vaccine to pregnant women

The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County announced that temporary payment has been authorized for Medicaid recipients who are pregnant and age 21 and older. This step is being taken due to the increased impact that influenza infections are having on pregnant women and their babies in Florida.

The Medicaid reimbursement rate will be the same rate for those vaccines that are covered for Medicaid recipients between the ages of 18-20, and will be through March 31, 2014.

“The flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent flu and it is very important for pregnant women to receive the influenza vaccination,” said Dr. Bonnie J. Sorensen, director of the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County. “We want to make sure that people are aware of this new opportunity for pregnant women to receive flu vaccination through Medicaid reimbursement.”

Safe for mom, baby
The Department of Health in Volusia County recommends that all individuals six months of age and older receive the flu vaccination each year. It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the flu while pregnant.

The flu vaccination is safe and will protect the mother, the unborn child, and will also help protect babies during the first months after birth.

Additional flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing.

Flu symptoms
Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment.

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers, and by many employers and schools.

For more information on pregnancy and the flu, visit  http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm. For more local information, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html.



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