POLL: Swine flu vaccine opens to all as availability on Marco increases

Local physicians, including Guidry, now have vaccine

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— The Collier County Health Department is opening H1N1 vaccination clinics to anyone in the public who wants to get immunized and at least one Marco Island physician, Andrew Guidry, announced that the vaccine is now available on Island as well.

Get the vaccine before the rush of the tourist season, the health department announced Wednesday.

“Getting vaccinated now will allow you to be fully immunized by the New Year and should help you stay healthy when our stores, theaters and community as a whole become more crowded during tourist season,” said Dr. Joan Colfer, director of the Collier health department.

The health department started Thursday offering the H1N1 vaccine to everyone in all age groups.

People 65 and older no longer need to have an underlying health condition to be eligible for the vaccine.

Guidry will be offering the vaccine at his office on a walk-in basis, he announced Tuesday. The vaccines were provided by the Center for Disease Control and will be available to the public at no cost. He said he received the vaccines for the first time last Friday and began offering them Monday.

The nasal spray is not currently available at his office, but the shot form is, Guidry said.

“We’ve got a ton of it and we will reorder as needed.”

Health Department spokeswoman Deb Millsap said there is plenty of the nasal flu mist version, which can only be given to healthy individuals between the ages of 2-49, available at the county clinics.

Florida health departments determine when and how much H1N1 vaccine is distributed to local doctors, she added.

“We have approximately 100 local doctors in Collier who have registered and requested vaccine. Many of them have already received allotments and all of them will receive vaccine as the shipments continue to come in.”

Inquire with your physician for more information.

Guidry’s office is located in the Marco Medical Group building at 19 Bald Eagle Dr., Suite B, and may be contacted at 394-4111.

Clinics provided by the health department are at the former KMart, 12693 U.S. 41 E. in East Naples on the dates below. All times are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Friday, Dec. 11

• Tuesday, Dec. 15

• Friday, Dec. 18

• Tuesday, Dec. 22

• Tuesday, Dec. 29

Are you an Island physician with H1N1 vaccine that you would like to inform the public about? If so, then leave a comment below this story to help spread the word, not the flu and contact reporter Kelly Farrell, kfarrell@marconews.com.

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