For Immediate Release: Dec. 1, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – Twelve public health vaccine clinics are scheduled for this week as the Vermont Department of Health, in collaboration with Vermont’s Visiting Nurse Associations and home health agencies, continues to work to protect those people most at risk for serious complications from the H1N1 flu virus.
Three additional clinics were added in Newport City, Brandon and Montpelier in an effort to expand vaccinations in those areas of the state. A total of 23 public H1N1 clinics have been held to date, with 44 more scheduled into February of 2010. One of the clinics, in Newport City, is offering nasal spray only. The other clinics have both nasal spray and flu shot in supply.
Clinics are intended for anyone in the high risk groups who are not being vaccinated elsewhere – at school or college, in hospitals or health care provider offices.
People eligible for vaccination at this time are: pregnant women, anyone who lives with or provides care for infants younger than 6 months, health care workers and EMS personnel, anyone age 6 months through 24 years, and anyone age 25 through 64 who has a medical condition that puts them at higher risk for flu complications.
As of Nov. 25, a total of 69,002 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been administered in the form of nasal spray or injection. To date, about 20 percent of the vaccine supply coming into the state is in the form of nasal spray. The nasal spray is a Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine. That means it contains a live but very weakened flu virus that provides immune protection, but cannot survive at body temperature.
“The nasal spray vaccine is safe and effective for healthy people age 2 through 49,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “There are many people who need the vaccine but are not eligible for the flu spray. We want everyone who is eligible for the nasal spray to take that form of vaccination, so there’s more flu shot for those people who need it.”
The Health Department continues to work with partners to review and revise vaccination distribution plans. Vaccine is allocated on a daily basis to the Vermont Department of Health by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), according to a formula that takes into account vaccine available and the state’s population.
Public H1N1 clinics are generally open to people of all ages who fall within the target groups. Information about when and where public clinics are being held in Vermont, as well as other flu information, can be found at the Health Department’s website: www.healthvermont.gov or by dialing 2-1-1. You can follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/healthvermont.