Friday, October 16, 2009

Southwest Washington receives smaller amount of vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it anticipates 29 million doses of H1N1 vaccine by the end of the month instead of the 40 million originally expected. The manufacturing process was slower than expected.

As a result, the 19,400 doses anticipated for Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties next week has been reduced to 5,000 doses. With this smaller allocation, Public Health is limiting vaccine administration to vaccine clinics in several schools, childcare centers and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinic.

Early vaccinations will be prioritized for pregnant women because they are at high risk of complications from H1N1; healthcare workers because they can be a potential source of infection for vulnerable patients and also because increased absenteeism among healthcare professionals could reduce healthcare system capacity; and children in congregate settings, which increases the likelihood of disease spread.

“It’s very difficult to predict how many doses will be available in the weeks ahead. We know that this can create some frustration for healthcare providers and anxiety for people wanting to get vaccinated. All of us are waiting for vaccine supply to increase,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Region IV Health Officer.

As vaccine continues to arrive in Southwest Washington, information will be posted at Residents can also call 877-510-2772.

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