The H1N1 vaccine is free, and the department has both the injectable and the nasal mist available.
The department has administered nearly 12,000 doses of the swine-flu vaccine to date, officials said Thursday. A new shipment of about 30,000 doses arrived just after Thanksgiving, said Lisa Crossman, director of the department's Center for Clinical and Prevention Services.
Administering the vaccine is just one responsibility of the health boards in Cobb and Douglas counties, which control the public health department. The board must coordinate the H1N1 vaccination effort based on guidelines established by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It also adopts and enforces health rules and regulations and sets fees for public health services.
On Thursday, board members learned that a proposal is being drafted to regulate the tattoo and body piercing industries in Cobb. Presently, the industries are not regulated in Cobb and permits are not required, said Chris Hutcheson, director of the Center for Environmental Health.
"Any regulations have to be approved by the board before they can be enforced," Hutcheson said. His other responsibilities include inspecting food services, public swimming pools, tourist accommodations and septic systems.
However, the board put the H1N1 disease investigation, tracking and vaccination efforts among its top priorities since early spring, said Cobb & Douglas Public Health spokeswoman Darlene Foote.
"We helped coordinate testing of local residents with our state public health lab when the H1N1 virus was first identified," Foote said.
The Cobb board has eight members, who are appointed by either the county or city of Marietta for six-year terms. It is chaired by Dan Stephens, a Marietta obstetrician-gynecologist.
Other members are KSU associate nursing professor Dr. Carol Holtz; Marietta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck; Cobb Commission Chairman Sam Olens; Carole Kell; Cobb Schools Superintendent Fred Sanderson; Marietta Mayor Bill Dunaway (until Mayor-elect Steve Tumlin takes his place); and Vinings Bank executive Clark Hungerford.
Longtime Marietta surgeon Jack Kennedy directs the Cobb and Douglas Public Health Department. He oversees about 400 employees in the two counties and the $27 million fiscal year 2010 budget.
The department provides services for children and adults, including pregnancy testing; dental services for children up to age 18; breast and cervical cancer screening; screening, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases; HIV/AIDS testing; services for tuberculosis; immunizations and screening for contagious and communicable diseases. It is on the Internet at www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.