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Running your daycare: Why child care providers should get the H1N1 vaccine

There is a lot information circulating about this flu season and the record number of cases with H1N1 right now. H1N1 is currently making rounds in at least 48 of our states. This number could be even higher as many with H1N1 have mild flu like symptoms and do not even realize they have contracted the infamous virus. However, others have not been so lucky as over 1,000 have died nationwide from H1N1 so far this year. Of that number, 100 of them have been children. The pandemic has gotten severe enough for it to be declared a national emergency.

Unfortunately, as H1N1 continues to spread the government still has not released any of the vaccine to local health departments. The Tri-County Health Department does have clinics scheduled for high risk groups to receive vaccines. If you live in Adams, Arapahoe or Douglas County, the Tri-County Health Department has scheduled free clinics. Visit their website for the dates and times.

How do you know if you are in one of the recommended groups to receive the H1N1 vaccine? Here are the groups listed:

- Pregnant Women
- Health care and emergency medical personnel
- Anyone 6 months to 24 years old
- Anyone 25 to 64 years old with chronic health conditions, respiratory problems or a weakened immune system.
- People who live with or care for infants younger than 6 months old.

Knowing the recommended groups, if you are a child care provider that is caring for young children – you should get in line for the H1N1 shot as soon as it is available. Infants under the age of 6 months do not have developed enough immune systems to fight off H1N1 and any preventive measures possible should be taken to ensure these infants do not come in contact with the virus.