This week all Iowans became eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccination.
Our local department of public health has been working tirelessly to get those at highest risk vaccinated. Now it's time to for everyone else to take this precaution.
Public health officials predict another wave of H1N1 to occur during late January and February - the usual time Iowa sees the highest rates of influenza illness.
Because of this prediction, it's important for everyone to get immunization as soon as possible.
Here in Marshalltown, it's easy and it's free.
Prior to going to the clinics, Marshall County Public Health strongly encourages people to sign up for an appointment at www.marshallcountyflu.com. This way, those wanting to get vaccinated won't have to wait in the long lines you've seen in other counties.
The majority of the clinics will be held at The Salvation Army, 107 W. State Street, in Marshalltown, with both the flumist and shot vaccines expected to be available.
Walk-ins are also welcome, but those with appointments are expected to be able to get their vaccine quickly.
So far, Iowa has reported 36 confirmed H1N1 deaths and nearly 700 H1N1-related hospitalizations. Last spring, Marshall County reported 56 confirmed cases of H1N1, compared to 200 cases statewide. Again this fall Marshall County officials reported another 64 confirmed cases.
Our vulnerability to this illness is evident. Sign up for your free vaccine today.