Wednesday, October 7, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine begins to arrive in SW Washington

The first shipment of H1N1 vaccine arrived today in Southwest Washington. The 2,890 doses arrived at Clark County Public Health in intra-nasal form and were shared with health jurisdictions in Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.

Vaccine will first be made available to two priority groups, including healthcare workers and emergency responders who provide direct patient care, and to children in childcare or other group settings. Intra-nasal vaccine is suitable for healthy individuals between the ages of 2 and 49. It cannot be given to pregnant women.

Hospitals in the four-county region will receive vaccine directly from the vaccine distributor, and will use the vaccine for staff who provide direct care.

More intra-nasal H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive in the region next week. Injectable vaccine is expected to arrive later in the month.

Public health officials are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against seasonal flu now and H1N1 (swine flu) as supplies allow. Because supplies may be limited initially, the vaccine will first be offered to those at highest risk of complications from H1N1. These include:

~Pregnant women (injectable vaccine only)
~Persons who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers)
~Health-care and emergency medical services personnel
~Persons ages 6 months--24 years
~Persons ages 25--64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications

More information about the response to H1N1 (swine flu) in Southwest Washington is available at

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