Thursday, 25 July 2024

More H1N1 vaccine arriving in Lake County

LAKE COUNTY – Vaccine to counter the H1Na influenza strain is becoming more plentiful and is now available to the general population in Lake County, local health officials reported this week.

Lake County Health Services expects local vaccinators to receive more than 10,000 doses of vaccine over the next couple of months, which should about double the amount of vaccine that has arrived in the county to date, according to county Health Officer Dr. Tait.

Tait said the expected doses will be sufficient to immunize approximately one in five Lake County residents. Children under 10 years of age require two doses of the vaccine.

Although additional supplies of vaccine may follow, details are still pending and most of the planned vaccination efforts for the 2009-10 influenza season are likely to be completed by March, she reported.

“The interest has waned a little bit but the need is still there,” Tait said of H1N1 vaccinations.

Although those people who are at increased risk for complications from influenza are still most strongly urged to get vaccinated, anyone over age 6 months of age can now receive the vaccine. This includes people over 65 years of age, who had previously been asked to delay vaccination in order to make scarce supplies available to most susceptible groups.

Lake County Health Services currently offers H1N1 vaccine at no cost on a walk-in basis at its location at 922 Bevins Court in Lakeport on Tuesdays between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. For those members of the public who cannot come at that time, scheduled appointments are available by calling 707-263-1090.

Tait reported that Public Health plans to schedule one or more mass vaccination clinics in January, starting at the south end of the lake. Information about specific dates and times will be advertised in the near future.

Many local doctors’ offices, clinics, and some local pharmacies also provide the vaccine. A small vaccine administration fee may be charged, but can be billed to health insurance companies.

Although the amount of influenza illness in the community appears to be declining, there are still good reasons to get vaccinated, according to local health officials.

The amount of influenza activity remains higher than usual for this time of year and the possibility of another wave of Pandemic 2009 (H1N1) in the months to come still exists. The vast majority of current influenza is attributable to the pandemic strain.

Tait said the community can also expect to see the H1N1 strain again as part of the annual seasonal influenza cycle.

She said certain individuals are at risk for severe illness from H1N1 influenza, including infants and young children, pregnant women and people of any age with chronic health conditions.

Updated information resources include the following:

– Revised fact sheet for people 65 and older to reflect the fact that supplies of the vaccine to protect against the 2009 H1N1 virus are increasing and many places have opened up vaccination to anyone who wants it. CDC is now encouraging those who have been patiently waiting to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, including people 65 and older, to get vaccinated depending on local supply.

– About 2009 H1N1 flu: Describes 2009 H1N1 flu and five steps to take if you get 2009 H1N1 flu or seasonal flu.

– 2009 H1N1 flu may be more serious for some: Describes people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

– Know the symptoms of flu: Describes symptoms that people who have the flu often feel and how long people with the flu should stay at home.

– Know the emergency warning signs: Describes "emergency warning signs" in adults and children that should signal anyone to seek medical care urgently.

– Flu germs are spread from person to person: Describes how the flu is spread and how to keep yourself and others healthy during flu season.

– When to get medical help for fluid loss: Describes when to get help for fluid loss.

– Information on how to treat dry cough.

– Treat other flu symptoms, such as sore throat, chills, aches, pains, congestion and stomach problems.

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