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Capital BlueCross to Cover Administration Costs of H1N1 Vaccine for Fully-Insured Groups, Individuals This Flu Season

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Capital BlueCross announced today that it will cover an administration fee for the H1N1 Flu vaccine for fully-insured members and those with individual coverage during the upcoming 2009-2010 flu season. Self-funded groups may opt to have their coverage customized to include this benefit.

A vaccine is expected to be available to the public in October. Various clinical vaccine trials have begun, some under the direction of the National Institutes of Health and others by manufacturers under contract with Health and Human Services.

The H1N1 vaccine itself will be provided at no cost by the federal government. Capital BlueCross is focusing on paying the administration fee to help encourage members to seek vaccination for H1N1 for what is expected to be a very active flu season.

Capital BlueCross advises that the H1N1 vaccine is in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine, which is still important to have each year.

"With the threat of a possible local outbreak, it is even more important this year for you to get a regular flu shot in addition to H1N1 protection," said Dr. Christopher Rumpf, Capital BlueCross senior medical director. "Unfortunately, many people skip the annual seasonal flu vaccine and might be inclined to do the same for the H1N1 vaccine. Often this occurs because people reason that they are young or healthy and therefore they could easily handle a bad case of the flu. This same logic could be very harmful if applied to the H1N1 virus."

Rumpf notes Capital BlueCross highly recommends that people exercise the following tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control to help prevent the spread of any flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaners (especially after you cough or sneeze).
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (throw the tissue in the trash after using it). If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth (germs can spread this way).
  • Try to avoid contact with sick people.
  • If you come down with a fever or respiratory infection, stay home from work and avoid contact with others.

Also, if you are pregnant or have young children who become ill at home, please note the following advice:

  • If you are pregnant and come down with a fever or respiratory illness, contact your physician immediately for advice, as influenza can increase risk for both mothers and unborn children.
  • Don't give aspirin or products containing aspirin to any ill child 18 or younger (there is a potentially fatal condition called Reye Syndrome that can occur this way).

The leading health insurer in its market, Capital BlueCross provides health insurance coverage to nearly one million people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Capital BlueCross is committed to making health insurance simple, offering easy to use health care and personal service at competitive prices. The company has been serving its customers through all the stages of their life for more than 70 years and employs more than 2,100 people.

Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

For more information, visit

SOURCE Capital BlueCross
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