H1N1 vaccines encouraged for high risk patientsTuesday, November 17, 2009
H1N1 vaccines encouraged for high risk patients
FORT ATKINSON – According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), greater numbers of the H1N1 vaccine are becoming available from the federal government. While supplies are still limited and vary according to location, DHS is encouraging health care providers to continue providing the vaccine to persons most-at-risk. These are:
- Pregnant women
- Persons who live with or provide care for infants age 6 months or younger (examples: parents, siblings, daycare providers)
- Health care and emergency medical services personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious material
- Children age 6 months - 4 years
- Children and adolescents age 5-18 years who have chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications
Beginning November 19, the targeted population of persons will be expanded to include all those aged 19-64 who have underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications. This will occur based on local availability of the vaccine.
Fort HealthCare affiliated clinics continue to receive limited numbers of the H1N1 vaccine from DHS. DHS places orders with the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) based on Wisconsin’s assigned allotment. There is a lag time between the state receiving its allocation and providers receiving those doses. Since the vaccine production has been slower than expected, the allotments have fluctuated significantly. Currently, Wisconsin has been allotted a total of 786,800 doses of H1N1 vaccine.
As availability fluctuates, patients in the above most-at-risk groups should contact their primary care clinic or the Jefferson County Health Department at (920) 674-7275. Information is posted on the Health Department website. In addition, people may call 2-1-1 to find out an H1N1 or seasonal influenza vaccine clinic nearest them. A “clinic finder” is also available online at www.pandemic.wisconsin.gov or www.wisconsinfluclinic.info. Information is also available at www.FortHealthCare.com/flu. The website contains links to other sites specific to the H1N1 flu outbreak including the CDC.
In Wisconsin, the incidence of H1N1 flu is widespread with 70 of the 72 counties reporting confirmed H1N1 cases. The prevalence of the illness appears to be declining as all five public health regions are reporting a modest decrease in cases. While current H1N1 activity in Wisconsin may be nearing its peak, widespread H1N1 activity will likely occur for the next several months.