By Alicia Lacy

Killeen Daily Herald

The holidays are over, but flu season is still in full swing.

In an effort to make the public more aware of the dangers of H1N1 influenza, the Bell County Public Health District is offering free H1N1 vaccinations next week during National Influenza Vaccination Week.

Health district officials said H1N1 influenza is a more dominate strain of flu than seasonal flu, so the health district's clinic sites will only have the H1N1 vaccination available.

Amanda Maedgen, pandemic planner for the health district, said she hopes next week's clinics have a good turnout.

The Centers for Disease Control's National Influenza Vaccination Week kicks off Sunday and wraps up Jan. 16. The health district has planned five focus days based on the CDC's focuses for the week, a news release from the health district stated.

Monday's focus will be health care workers. Tuesday's focus will be for those with chronic health conditions. Wednesday will be for children, pregnant women and caregivers of infants less than 6 months old. Thursday's focus is young adults 19 to 24 years old, and Jan. 15's focus is senior citizens.

Maedgen said fewer older people get the H1N1 strand, but those who contract the disease are at risk for complications.

Though the focus days center on certain groups, no one seeking the vaccine will be turned away.

Flu season can begin as early as October and last into spring, according to the CDC.

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