VACCINES MORE AVAILABLE
Nearly 60 million people have received swine flu vaccines, but nearly that many more doses have been shipped to health care providers in the United States.
Health officials say the holiday period is a great time for those who have been seeking vaccine to get it. The shots and nasal mist vaccines for the H1N1 virus are easier to find now.
Supplies have stabilized, so now anyone ages 2-49 is approved to get the vaccine.
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The county health clinics in Lexington and Richland counties all have H1N1 vaccine, available by appointment only. Call (803) 576-2886 in Richland County or (803) 791-3580 in Lexington County to set up an appointment.
Some private healthcare providers also have H1N1 vaccine, either shots or nasal spray. Check with your doctor or pharmacy. Local Walgreens and CVS stores have advertised having vaccine available.
Many private providers are charging $18 for the vaccine. The shots and spray are free at public clinics.
If you're having trouble finding vaccine, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has a set of "flu shot finder" links on its Web site at http://www.scdhec.gov/flu/clinic-options.htm. The Google maps search is especially helpful.
PALMETTO HEALTH HONORED
Palmetto Health Richland has earned the highest distinction among South Carolina hospitals for its success in organ donor programs.
Palmetto Health earned Silver Medal 1 status in the four-level Medal of Honor rankings by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The four award levels are Gold, Silver 1, Silver 2 and Bronze.
In Silver 1 hospitals, three out of four medically eligible donors become donors, and at least three recovered organs are transplanted per donor.
In South Carolina, nine hospitals received Bronze recognition, including Providence in Columbia and Lexington Medical Center.
South Carolina's winning hospitals collaborate closely with the state's organ procurement organization, Lifepoint Inc., to honor the final wishes of organ and tissue donors.
RESOLVE TO RUN
A new event is joining the Columbia calendar - the Resolution Run.
The off-road race on Saturday includes a 10K run on the trails of Sesquicentennial State Park and a 3.5-mile walk on the Firebreak Loop trail. Both races start at 9 a.m.
The event is part of the new five-race Carolina Trail Championship Series staged at Sesqui, Harbison State Forest and Saluda Shoals Park.
Online registration: http://www.strictlyrunning.com.
PEDIATRIC WEB SITE FOR PARENTS
In a sea of conflicting and confusing health information, parents often turn to their family pediatrician for advice.
Now, in a virtual extension of the pediatrician's office, the American Academy of Pediatrics is bringing pediatrician-approved health information to the Internet at http://www.HealthyChildren.org.
The Web site, backed by 60,000 pediatricians, offers guidance for parents and caregivers, along with interactive tools and personalized content.