State public health officials say they are developing a distribution plan for H1N1 vaccine. Initial doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in late September or early October. Provider agreements for administering the vaccine are expected to be distributed starting next week.
Dr. Davies says the State Public Health Laboratory will continue to test samples from the SPN for surveillance purposes, but private clinicians are urged to contact their commercial laboratory for clinical testing.
Initial doses of seasonal flu vaccine are now being distributed, and State Health Director Jeffrey Engel, MD, following CDC guidelines, is urging clinicians to begin administering those shots as soon as vaccines are available. Dr. Engel briefed the NCMS Board of Directors on the state’s response to H1N1 during a meeting at the NCMS offices on September 12, 2009.
The latest influenza surveillance report (#44, 9-19-09) shows last week’s rate of influenza-like illness at sentinel sites (6.4%) the highest recorded rate during this 2008-2009 reporting season. The 2009-2010 reporting season begins on September 28, 2009. See the report at http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/gcdc/flu.html.
More information is available from the NC Department of Public Health, http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/gcdc/flu.html, and from the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.