MISSION - Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center has scheduled two new flu vaccine clinics.

The clinics will be held all day Thursday, Jan. 13, and from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14.

Health Educator Brian Boltz said that on Dec. 17 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded the list of priority groups recommended to receive the vaccinations. The Indian Health Service has also expanded its recommendations, following the example of the CDC.

Adults ages 50 to 64 and out-of-home caregivers are now eligible for vaccinations, he said. In addition, people living in the households of those described as high-risk are also recommended to receive the vaccinations.

High-risk individuals are those who are 65 or older, those younger than 2, pregnant women and people of any age who have underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease. Transplant recipients, people with AIDS, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, health care workers with direct patient care and out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children under six months are also considered high-risk.

Boltz said the upcoming round of vaccinations will be given in the Yellowhawk Conference Room to registered members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The Wednesday session will begin at 8 a.m. and end at approximately 3:45 p.m., closing down for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The state of Oregon announced Thursday that it had removed all restrictions on those who can receive the flu vaccine. At that time, Boltz said he was not aware of that decision or the effects, if any, that it might have on the tribal program.

"What we'll probably do is go ahead with these clinics as announced and then schedule others later on for the general public if that is the case," Boltz said.

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