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    Publix to Offer Flu Vaccines for High Risk Cases First

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- As flu shot season officially kicks off this weekend, Publix Super Markets, Inc. here is preparing to provide shots first for high-risk customers.

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- As flu shot season officially kicks off this weekend, Publix Super Markets, Inc. here is preparing to provide shots first for high-risk customers.

    Beginning Oct. 1, Publix will offer the flu vaccination program at stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. The program follows updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to first vaccinate high-risk individuals.

    "Maxim Health Services, our partner for the flu clinics, will conduct an assessment on all interested customers Oct. 1-Oct. 24, 2005, to determine if they are in a high-risk category," said media and community relations director Maria Brous in a statement. "This will ensure that we are in compliance with the CDC recommendations."

    High-risk patients are:
    -- Persons age 65 years or older
    -- Persons age 2-64 with comorbid conditions, such as: lung or heart disease, asthma, chronic metabolic disease (kidney, blood or diabetes)
    -- Residents of long-term care facilities (nursing homes, chronic care facilities)
    -- Children age 6-23 months
    -- Pregnant women
    -- Health care personnel who provide direct patient care
    -- Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children aged less than 6 months.

    Publix said the general public will be eligible for vaccinations from Oct. 25 to Nov. 15. The following vaccinations are available at Publix flu clinics: flu, $25; pneumonia, $35; and tetanus/diphtheria, $30.

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