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Letter: Rabies vaccine clinics successful

Editor:

The Harford County Health Department extends sincere appreciation to The Aegis for providing such positive publicity and support of Harford County Health Department rabies vaccination clinics in its April 25, article and subsequent May 11, editorial. A total of 2,380 dogs, cats and ferrets were vaccinated against rabies at the Harford County rabies vaccination clinics held on April 29 and May 6, representing the third highest total on record for the this initiative.

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The May 11 editorial also recognized the value of the public health influenza vaccination efforts. Harford County ranks first among all counties throughout Maryland in childhood influenza vaccination rates, thanks in large part to its aggressive annual campaign in partnership with the Harford County Public Schools.

For their contributions to the success of the rabies vaccination clinics, the Harford County Health Department also wishes to extend its gratitude to the Bel Air, Whiteford, Abingdon, Havre de Grace, Jarrettsville, Joppa-Magnolia, Aberdeen, and Darlington volunteer fire companies as well as the following participating veterinarians: Erin Stephens, Kristin Karbonik, Tracy Morgan, Joe Mullen, Christine Davies, Jessica Eavers, Nathan Pate, Gretchen Ruby, Peter Beron, Stephanie Finley and Lena Wensel.

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State law requires that all cats, dogs, and ferrets be vaccinated against the deadly rabies virus. Those who missed our low cost vaccination clinics are reminded to please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian at your earliest opportunity to safeguard the health of your pet and your family. Over the years, Health Department staff have witnessed firsthand that an up-to-date rabies vaccination for a beloved pet eliminates much of the anxiety triggered by an altercation between a pet and a wild animal. The Health Department will provide another opportunity for pet owners to have their pets vaccinated against rabies in September, in conjunction with the observance of World Rabies Day.

Without acknowledgment of our rabies clinics by The Aegis and other media outlets, the cooperation and good will of our collaborating volunteer fire companies and local veterinarians, efficient management of the clinics by health department staff, and the enthusiastic response from the public, these clinics would not enjoy the popularity and public health impact they have achieved over the years.

Dave Reiher

David A. Reiher, RS/REHS, Chief

Rabies and Vector Control Division

Harford County Health Department

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