Thousands Vaccinated, with More Vaccine on the Way

State health officials reported this week that 441,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine have been administered in North Carolina over the past four weeks. State Health Director Jeffrey Engel, MD, announced during a statewide H1N1 briefing on Tuesday that additional vaccine is expected to arrive in the state next week and will be distributed to local health departments and districts. More shipments are expected in coming weeks, with the CDC indicating that larger supplies will likely arrive in late November or early December, which should cover all people needing or wanting to be vaccinated. See the latest H1N1 briefing at: http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/gcdc/H1N1/SERTbriefings.html. You can also access the briefings at a link titled “H1N1 Operational Briefings,” on the Guidance for Professionals page at http://www.flu.nc.gov/.

At the moment, priority is being given to high risk target populations that include pregnant women, caregivers of children younger than six months of age, health care workers, people from six months to 24 years of age, and persons aged 25-64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza.  Additional information is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.

Physicians with questions about H1N1 vaccine can call the CDC’s 24-hour Clinical Consultation Line at 404-368-2133. This line is only for physicians and health care professionals who are taking care of pregnant women with severe influenza infections.  It is not for other clinical questions or for vaccine information.  Patients can be directed to the Public Careline at 1-800-662-7030 or http://www.flu.nc.gov/.

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